Starbucks unveiled Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago, which opens its doors to the public on Friday, November 15. Located on North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the opening of Chicago Reserve Roastery marks Starbucks sixth global Roastery and third location in the U.S. Starbucks largest-ever immersive coffee experience—across five floors and 35,000 square feet of retail space—celebrates the company’s heritage and is a tribute to the roasting and the craft of coffee. Visitors will be able to see, hear and learn about coffee’s extraordinary journey through intentional and unparalleled design, while enjoying a menu featuring exclusive coffee beverages exclusive to this location. The Chicago Roastery joins locations in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York and Tokyo.
“Over the past five years, we have created the ultimate immersive experience around all-things-coffee in spectacular Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in flagship cities around the world. This week we are delighted to open our doors on the sixth global Roastery in an iconic building located on Chicago’s renowned Magnificent Mile,” says Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO. “These Roasteries amplify the Starbucks brand, serve as innovation hubs, and create experiences for millions of customers around the world.”
Starbucks has a rich history with the Windy City, dating back to 1987 when the company opened its first store outside of the Pacific Northwest and had a total of 11 retail stores and served as the foundation for the company’s national growth strategy. Nearly 32 years later, there are 796 company-operated stores in the region where Starbucks employs more than 18,100 partners (employees). The Roastery employs nearly 200 people, including roasters, baristas, commessas, bakers, and mixologists.
“The design of the Chicago Roastery was inspired by the iconic Chicago landmark, and the city itself,” says Jill Enomoto, vice president of Roastery Design & Concept for Starbucks. “We embraced the building’s natural light, married it with shades of classic Starbucks greens and intentionally wove in design features to encourage customer exploration and highlight the love and respect we have for coffee.”
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is a working coffee roastery where Starbucks Roasters will be small-batch roasting Starbucks rarest single-origin coffees and blends called Starbucks Reserve. The coffee roasted in Chicago will be served exclusively to visitors of the location, available in handcrafted beverages as well as freshly scooped whole bean coffee.
Unique Food and Beverage Experiences
There are three main coffee bars at the Roastery, which in total offer seven brewing methods, including espresso, pour over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex, Clover and cold brewing.
- Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Upon entering the Roastery, visitors can visit the Reserve coffee bar on the main level, where baristas are crafting classic espresso beverages such as cappuccino, latte and cortado.
- Experiential Coffee Bar: The third floor is home to the Experiential coffee bar which provides customers the opportunity to immerse in the art, science, and theatre of coffee. It features elevated brew methods and pairings, as well as specialty Roastery creations and brew comparison flights.
- Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar: The barrel-aged coffee bar is found on the fourth floor and showcases a variety of spirit-free coffee beverages whose beans have been carefully aged in barrels. Here, visitors can explore a menu of cocktail-inspired coffee creations exclusive to the Chicago Roastery, including the Smoked Cold Fashioned (a lightly sweetened whiskey barrel-aged cold brew with aromatic bitters, smoked tableside), Minted Cold Brew (whiskey barrel-aged cold brew, shaken with mint syrup and served over pebble ice) and more.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is the only Starbucks location in the U.S. to offer on-demand liquid nitrogen gelato. Designed to pair with Starbucks Reserve® coffee, nitrogen gelato is mixed by hand, with every scoop made right on the spot and offers another way for customers to enjoy specialty Starbucks Reserve coffees. Nitrogen gelato previously debuted at the Milan Roastery when it opened in September 2018.
Arriviamo Cocktail Bar
The Chicago Roastery will feature a dedicated Arriviamo Bar, like the Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations in New York and Milan. Inspired by the Italian tradition of apertivo, the Arriviamo Bar will be a destination for customers looking for a carefully crafted cocktail. Located on the fourth floor, the Arriviamo bar features an assortment of traditional and unique cocktails, all concepted by local mixologists Julia Momose, Annie Beebe-Tron and Rachel Miller. In addition to a menu of classic cocktails and a selection of local Chicago beer and wine, exclusive specialty cocktails featuring Starbucks Reserve coffee and tea that nod to the culture and traditions of Chicago include:
- Roastery Boilermaker: A Chicago riff on the classic beer and a shot, this cocktail is inspired by a Stiegl Radler and includes Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew, Koval Four Grain Whiskey, local favorite Malort, grapefruit bitters and a sidecar of Rhine Hall Bierschnapps.
- Pour Over Bijou: An ode to Chicago’s stunning architecture, particularly Louis Sullivan’s jewel box style, this classic cocktail pour-over features Nikka Coffey Gin, Carpano Bianco, Green Chartreuse, and Liquore Strega extracted through Starbucks Reserve Coffee.
- Lake Shore: Inspired by icy paletas, this cocktail offers a taste of Chicago summer that’s good all year round, with Teavana Zen Clouds Oolong, El Tesoro Añejo Tequila, Mango Yogurt Syrup, Mango Popsicle, Lime Juice, Lime Zest, and Sea Salt Tincture.
In addition to coffee beverages, Roastery visitors can enjoy food at Princi, the renowned artisanal boutique bakery and cafe founded by Italian baker Rocco Princi. As the exclusive food purveyor at Starbucks Reserve locations, Princi offers on-site baking of fresh breads, cornetti and focaccia, pizza and salads, plus cakes and tarts. A full menu of items will be available on the second floor Princi bakery, while select items will also be available throughout the Roastery for customers looking to pair their coffee with a savory or sweet bite.
Exclusive to the Chicago Roastery will be a bakery conveyor that has been designed by Starbucks to transport fresh baked goods from the Princi bakery on the second floor, to the Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar on the main level.
In a nod to the city’s vibrant history, artwork from local Chicago artists that tell stories and encourage customers to explore can be found throughout the building’s five floors. Customers can also purchase limited-edition merchandise from Chicago-based visual artist Mac Blackout to take home with them.
Creating a Positive Impact
To further show support for city of Chicago, Starbucks recently announced an investment of $10 million into four established Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) to drive economic opportunity in the city. The investment, dispersed among Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund, Local Initiative Support Corporation and IFF, is expected to generate more than 500 loans toward supporting Chicago’s small businesses, community development projects, and the economic vitality of the city’s underserved neighborhoods.