The world's largest Starbucks is opening on Chicago's Magnificent Mile November 15 at 10 a.m., the company confirmed Friday. It will overtake the recently opened Toyko Reserve Roastery as Starbucks' biggest store and is the sixth Roastery in the world, following locations in Seattle, Shanghai, New York City, Milan, and Tokyo.
The space was first announced in 2017 and few new details beyond its opening date have been released yet. We do know it's set to open in a massive 43,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Crate & Barrel. For context, the NYC Roastery is less than half that size.
Inside, roasteries are pretty much the Willy Wonka chocolate factory of coffee shops. Visitors are surrounded by all things coffee—Starbucks' reserve beans are roasted inside the store, while tubes overhead transport beans to be packaged. The menus are much more elaborate than a typical Starbucks store, both on the coffee side and food-wise. Thanks to the Princi bakery inside, you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
The Chicago Roastery will employ 200 people, including local mixologists crafting cocktails at the Reserve's bar, the Chicago Tribune reports. There will be exclusive drinks "inspired by the culture and traditions of Chicago," too. The space will be open until midnight on Fridays and Saturday and until 11 p.m. during the week.
A post shared by Starbucks Reserve (@starbucksreserve) on Jul 26, 2019 at 6:55am PDT
On one side of the Main Bar, nitrogen-infused gelato produces an icy cloud—and an impossibly creamy affogato. A few feet away, bubbling siphons showcase the theatrical side of brewing. Our Master Baristas call these stations Fire and Ice. We just call them awesome. #MilanoRoastery #GrazieMilano #StarbucksItaly
A post shared by Starbucks Reserve (@starbucksreserve) on Sep 8, 2018 at 1:15pm PDT
In Starbucks' initial press release, former CEO Howard Schultz said Chicago is a special city for the company, as it was the first place to house a Starbucks outside Seattle when the first Chicago Starbucks opened in October 1987.
This could be the last Roastery for awhile—Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer told the Tribute there are no plans for additional roasteries at this time, though that could change. Either way, I'll be planning a trip to Chicago this fall!
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