Starbucks said the centerpiece is the oven, which bakes fresh products throughout the day onsite. “A brightly lit food case stretches along the width of the space, enough for a visual landscape of freshly baked cornetti, brioche and focaccia, pizzas and desserts. Commessas, Italian for ‘shop assistant,’ act as a guide through the journey of food,” Starbucks said.’
“We kept the palate neutral. The food becomes a ribbon of color and light that ties the whole space together,” Davies added. “…We wanted to make sure every one of these elements is created with the same level of detail that Rocco puts into his food.”
Food wise, the restaurant features the full Princi menu of artisanal baked goods, made with ingredients sourced from Italy. Breakfast features steel-cut oats with Italian jam, baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, and cornetti sandwiches made with prosciutto cotto and Fontina. Lunch spotlights soups, salads, focaccia sandwiches, pizza, and hot entrees. Italian cakes, tarts, and other desserts are added for afternoon guests. There’s also a Starbucks Reserve Princi blend to join the espresso beverages made on a manual espresso machine.
Another unique feature: Later in the day Bar Mixato offers traditional Italian apertivo, including cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits accompanied by complimentary small plates. A patio that will open to a planned new city park later in the year is open as well.
“When you go to Italy, you’ll always find people on the patio,” Davies said. “I hope customers will come here and find the spirit of Milan.”
In the third quarter, global same-store sales were up 1 percent for Starbucks, its lowest comps since the company began sharing financials on its investor site in 2011. Looking to the end of the fiscal year, Starbucks expects similarly muted results with comps clocking in below the usual 3–5 percent range for both the fourth quarter and full year.