All anyone at the VOGUE office could talk about on Friday was India's first Starbucks opening down the road at Horniman Circle in Mumbai. By lunch we couldn't take it anymore and rushed down to get a first look. We found décor that better resembles the elaborate interiors of the Taj Mahal Hotel than an international cult coffee shop. And American waiters. Good-looking American waiters.
The sight of wooden lattice archways, velvet drapes and double ceilings at the Mumbai location will force the Starbucks regular to do a double take. The only assurance that this is, indeed, the same brand, is the staff behind the counter dressed in their iconic green aprons. For the next three weeks, according to the brand’s representatives, the staff will be as international a mix as their globally sourced coffee, with American waiters frantically whipping up frappucinos next to their Indian counterparts.
This will be the first Starbucks in the world to feature an espresso sourced and roasted locally. Also noteworthy is the cost of their food with beverage prices between a healthy Rs 95 to Rs 180. Food includes both the exotic (a salmon and cheese croissant for Rs 150) and the expected (chocolate chip cookie for Rs 100). The portions, however, are suitably American super-size.
Being the coffee conquistadors they are, the company has already announced the opening of two more outlets in Mumbai within the next seven days -- one inside the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers and the other at the Oberoi Mall -- before they hit New Delhi. Talk about a caffeine rush.
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