Starting April 21, busy Chicagoans can get their coffee in the city’s first Starbucks express format store. The 635-square foot space in Union Station, which sees more than 3 million passengers each year, is tailored for customers who want the Starbucks Experience and premium products on the go. Its streamlined menu options focus on high-quality brewed coffee, signature espresso beverages, and a selection of popular food items including breakfast sandwiches.
“Chicago customers have a diverse set of needs,” says Dan Dehmlow, a district manager for Starbucks in Chicago. “On their commute, they may be looking for a fast, efficient experience while at their neighborhood store they may want to slow down and relax. We want to meet our customers wherever they are in their day, with the same meaningful connection and great cup of coffee.”
This is the company’s fifth express format store, following successful introductions in New York and Toronto.
Chicago has a rich coffee culture, one that has been perfect for Starbucks’ line of rare, small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees in roughly 40 stores in the market. In addition to serving Starbucks Reserve coffees, these locations will soon add specialty Reserve espresso beverages and Cold Brew inspired by those at Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle. The stores will help introduce customers to the world of coffee and inspire customers on their coffee education journey.
“We know customers in Chicago love the coffee experience, which makes this the perfect place for Starbucks to try new things,” Dehmlow says.
Chicago also has 50 Starbucks Evenings locations, with a menu suited for later in the day and including wine, craft beer, and sharable small plates.
Later in 2016, Starbucks will open in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side as part of its program to locate stores in diverse urban communities across the U.S. The jobs created by opening these new stores, and providing onsite training through local nonprofits, will help achieve the company’s goal of hiring 10,000 opportunity youth.
Starbucks will work with local women- and minority-owned contractors and suppliers in the Chicago area, as it did in Queens, New York, and Ferguson, Missouri.