Starbucks Is Opening A Super-sized Gourmet Location In Chicago…

— here’s what it could look like

Written by Kate Taylor

Chicago_Roastery_1A rendering of the Chicago Roastery, which will be on the Magnificent Mile.Starbucks

Starbucks is opening an enormous, super-upscale location in Chicago.

On Wednesday, the coffee giant announced it planned to open a four-story, 43,000-square-foot Roastery in Chicago in 2019. The location, which will be the third Roastery to open in the US (one will open in New York in 2018), will roast small-batch coffees, serve specialty beverages inspired by cocktails, and bake artisanal food in-house.

Currently, Starbucks’ only open Roastery is in Seattle, Washington. The success of the Seattle Roastery, which opened in late 2014, demonstrated to Starbucks the potential for more upscale locations and provided a blueprint for the other Roasteries in the works around the world.

Here’s what it’s like to visit the Seattle Roastery — the inspiration for Chicago’s biggest and most over-the-top Starbucks ever.

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The Seattle Roastery, nine blocks from the first Starbucks shop, is immediately eye-catching. Notably, the Roastery uses the first iteration of the chain’s mermaid logo — the current, ubiquitous green mermaid is nowhere to be found at the upscale location.

The Seattle Roastery, nine blocks from the first Starbucks shop, is immediately eye-catching. Notably, the Roastery uses the first iteration of the chain's mermaid logo — the current, ubiquitous green mermaid is nowhere to be found at the upscale location.

Kate Taylor

When you walk inside, it’s clear this isn’t the average Starbucks. Freshly roasted beans sit in gleaming containers, ready to be ground and brewed.

When you walk inside, it's clear this isn't the average Starbucks. Freshly roasted beans sit in gleaming containers, ready to be ground and brewed.

Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor

Pneumatic transfer tubes move the beans from the roaster to the containers, coffee silos, or bags of Starbucks Reserve coffee beans that will be sold across the world.

 

Pneumatic transfer tubes move the beans from the roaster to the containers, coffee silos, or bags of Starbucks Reserve coffee beans that will be sold across the world.

Kate Taylor

The Roastery offers a chance to see the entire process of creating coffee, from the silos of green, unroasted beans to the finished cup.

Kate Taylor

All Starbucks Reserve coffee, which is rarer and roasted in small batches, is made at the Roastery before being sent to Reserve locations around the world.

All Starbucks Reserve coffee, which is rarer and roasted in small batches, is made at the Roastery before being sent to Reserve locations around the world.

Kate Taylor

In addition to being shipped to Reserve Starbucks shops, the Reserve coffees are all served at the Roastery and Tasting Room.

Kate Taylor

The Roastery has a menu unlike any other, with drinks like the Shakerato, espresso that’s shaken with ice and a hint of demerara syrup.

The Roastery has a menu unlike any other, with drinks like the Shakerato, espresso that's shaken with ice and a hint of demerara syrup.

Kate Taylor

Customers can order coffee flights, such as the cold-brew flight to test cold brew next to nitro cold brew.

Kate Taylor

Starbucks’ nitro cold brew, which rolled out at 500 locations last summer, was first tested at the Roastery and quickly became one of the top-selling drinks there.

 

Starbucks' nitro cold brew, which rolled out at 500 locations last summer, was first tested at the Roastery and quickly became one of the top-selling drinks there.

Kate Taylor

Cold beverages are a focus at the Roastery. In addition to a line of cold-brew drinks, the location also has an entire affogato menu, for espresso poured over locally made ice cream.

Kate Taylor

The test of the affogato at the Reserve helped Starbucks decide to roll out an affogato-style Frappuccino, or espresso poured over a Frappuccino.

The test of the affogato at the Reserve helped Starbucks decide to roll out an affogato-style Frappuccino, or espresso poured over a Frappuccino.

Kate Taylor

Another ice-cream-coffee pairing is one of the most expensive on the menu: the Nitro Cold Brew Float, which is $10.

Kate Taylor

Beyond new recipes, the Roastery showcases different coffee preparation methods, like siphoning.

Beyond new recipes, the Roastery showcases different coffee preparation methods, like siphoning.

Kate Taylor

Siphoning uses vacuum filtration to create a cup of coffee with a slightly cleaner taste than other brewing methods produce.

Kate Taylor

The Roastery’s offerings change daily and seasonally, depending on what beans are finished roasting, as well as on what baristas and other Starbucks workers want to test.

The Roastery's offerings change daily and seasonally, depending on what beans are finished roasting, as well as on what baristas and other Starbucks workers want to test.

Kate Taylor

In addition to selling coffee, the Roastery sells a good deal of merchandise.

Kate Taylor

The Roastery houses a pizza restaurant called Serious Pie, run by Seattle chef Tom Douglas.

Kate Taylor

It also has a library, which has become a go-to meeting place for businesses based in the area, like Microsoft and Amazon.

It also has a library, which has become a go-to meeting place for businesses based in the area, like Microsoft and Amazon.

Kate Taylor

A trip to the Roastery is a peek into the future of Starbucks — or at least into what Starbucks believes its future will hold. With the Chicago Roastery, the chain has now announced plans to open six Roasteries around the world.

A trip to the Roastery is a peek into the future of Starbucks — or at least into what Starbucks believes its future will hold. With the Chicago Roastery, the chain has now announced plans to open six Roasteries around the world.

Kate Taylor

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