The highly anticipated Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is scheduled to open Nov. 15 on the Magnificent Mile, marking the last and largest of the chain’s grand coffee palaces.
The Chicago roastery, first announced more than two years ago, will open at 10 a.m. that day in a glassy 43,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Crate & Barrel, at the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.
The four-story emporium will employ 200 people and include on-site roasting of its rare Reserve beans, interactive tours, exclusive drinks “inspired by the culture and traditions of Chicago” and a full kitchen for making desserts, breads, pizzas and salads from Italian bakery Princi, Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer said.
Chicago is the sixth city where Starbucks has opened what it calls “theatrical, experiential shrines to coffee passion,” following New York; Tokyo; Shanghai; Milan, Italy; and its hometown of Seattle, which opened the first Reserve Roastery in late 2014.
There are no plans for additional roasteries, which serve as “brand amplifiers” as well as innovation centers to test new ideas, though that could change, Brewer said.
Starbucks involved Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal in the design of the Chicago space, which takes a prominent corner in the heart of Chicago’s tourist and shopping district. The company preserved numerous architectural details of the bright, window-filled building, constructed in 1990, focusing as much on the views from the outside in as those from the inside out, Brewer said.
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