The world’s largest Starbucks is now open in Chicago
It is coffee o’clock at Chicago’s Magnificent Mile where Starbucks recently open doors to their 6th Roastery, after Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York, and Tokyo.
Located in the former iconic Crate and Barrel building, this 35,000 square feet coffee-heaven spans across 5 stories designed by an in-house team with additional help from Perkins and Will architects. The architectural lighting by Delta Light illuminates the entire space seamlessly.
The wow factor begins from the exterior itself, as a curved white-cladded steel and glass facade stands out amongst all the other square buildings on Michigan Avenue. The interiors are inspired by the city of Chicago itself and gleam with natural light, while soft white oak furniture & decor blend flawlessly with the classic Starbucks green colour and copper aesthetics.
As you step into this “$24 billion coffee giant”, prepare for a complete sensory journey.
The first floor welcomes you with the robust aroma of freshly roasted coffee and features a full bean scooping bar from where you can purchase freshly cooled coffee beans.
This floor is also dominated by a 56-foot-tall golden bronze cask that prepares 25 pounds of coffee beans at a time. Once they are completely roasted, the beans are funneled through this cask and move through 4 floors of air-powered glass tubes to deliver them directly in the individual coffee bars on each floor.
This amusing network of transportation maneuvers through the roastery and is visible from all directions. All the beans roasted at this Reserve are either used in the store or sold at the bar.
The Starbucks Roasteries are known for the extravagant customer experience they have presented over the years in their previous locations.
If you are not fascinated yet, wait until you step onto what is famed as Midwest’s first-ever curved escalator. As you move up, watch the beans travel in through the tower along with you.
If you are a coffee guru, the third floor is your utopia! The complete space looks like a laboratory, where the baristas are brewing coffee using different methods and machines.
There are seven brewing techniques used throughout the roastery: espresso, pour-over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex, clover and cold brewing. You can also get your hands on a nitrogen-fueled gelato mixer here.
As a Starbucks design-related tradition, every Roastery features a painting by the Chicago based artist David Anthony Geary. The mural in this roastery enhances the space between the third and fourth floors. A large mural by Eulojio Ortega also pays tribute to the coffee bean harvesting.
We have arrived or “Arriviamo” on the fourth floor, which is also the name of the bar located on this floor. Arriviamo combines alcohol with coffee and serves a wide range of wine, beer and signature cocktails made by mixologists.
The fifth and last floor is home to a rooftop terrace that will be open to the public in spring and summer.
Starbucks announced earlier this year that more than 350 Chicago based coffee-places of the chain, including this Roastery, are powered with 100% renewable energy generated by wind power.
Since this Starbucks Chicago Roastery is said to be the last of the roastery’s, isn’t it a brew-tiful day to have a Starbucks drink?