Just When You Thought Starbucks Couldn’t Get Any Bigger…


Starbucks Chicago Roastery concept 2019

Get ready for America’s Starbucks obsession to get even bigger—literally. With thousands of locations across the US already, Starbucks plans to open a new massive location in New York City in 2018, which will become the world’s largest Starbucks location when it opens—only to be eclipsed a year later when its new biggest Roastery (above) is set to open in Chicago.

The New York location is set to open in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District next year, set in the Rafael Viñoly-designed boutique office building rising at 61 Ninth Avenue and Fifteenth Street. Its sentimental design will be inspired by the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, located in the brand’s hometown of Seattle, Washington.

Like that location, the goal is to create a customer experience that’s like “Willy Wonka” for coffee lovers, as CEO Howard Schultz has put it—over the top, but pulling back the curtain on how coffee is made, a divine touch for coffee connoisseurs.

“In New York, we want to take elements from what we originally created and build something even bigger and bolder, celebrating coffee and craft in a completely unique and different way,” stated executive chairman, Howard Shultz. “We want this experience to tell our customers that we’re coming to Broadway.”

The 20,000-square-foot project will be led by Starbucks executives Arthur Rubinfeld and Liz Muller, as well as the joint venture of Vernado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital.

In terms of what this elaborate location means for your daily grande latte—not that much. The drinks offered at the massive New York Roastery will remain true to the classic Starbucks menu, but the architecture and the design of the location itself will uniquely celebrate the company’s specialty craft of roasting and brewing beans from all around the world.

However, if you’re looking to expand your coffee palette and experience exotic brews, you’ll be able to do so in 2019 about 794 miles west of the NYC Roaster, with plans underway for an even larger and more revolutionary location in Chicago.

This 43,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve will open at 646 North Michigan Avenue, taking over a Crate & Barrel store space located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, where you can expect to see a new menu of rare Reserve coffee options, with fresh baking on-site as well as a Prinzi pizzeria.

Starbucks Reserve, the brand’s boutique, upscale offshoot that offers small-batch beans and uses intricate brewing equipment, has opened a few coffee bars around the country this year, but none compare to the emerging milestone coming to Chicago.

“Chicago’s Magnificent Mile brings in millions of visitors from across this globe and is the perfect location for a world-class coffee destination,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be an investment in Chicago… where residents and visitors can enjoy incredible coffees from around the world in a remarkable environment.”

These new locations may not look exactly like your neighborhood coffee shop, but whether you’re picking up an iced Americano on the way to the office or sitting down with a cappuccino and a good book, you can’t deny that you recognize a certain Starbucks experience when you walk in.

“We are in the business of human connection,” says new Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who took over the reigns from Howard Schultz on April 2. “That is what we’re about: connecting with the human experience.”