Starbucks’s massive four-story coffee shop and roastery, the one that’s replacing Crate & Barrel’s Michigan Avenue store, should open on November 15. The coffee chain’s flashy Chicago flagship will occupy a 43,000-square-foot space and will serve pizza. It’ll also have a bar with cocktails from Chicago bartenders including Eater Young Gun Julia Momose, caretaker of the drinks at Japanese-inspired Kumiko and Michelin-starred Oriole, both in the West Loop.
The store, at the corner of Erie and Michigan (646 N. Michigan Avenue) is billed as the world’s-largest Starbucks. The Tribune also reported that Starbucks has enlisted bartenders Annie Beebe-Tron (Fat Rice) and Rachel Miller (Community Tavern) to create the cocktail menu.
Starbucks, like other retailers and restaurants, is vying to give customers more of a reason to visit stores rather than to rely on online ordering and deliveries. Company officials want this flagship to have a theatrical element and to entertain patrons. As the Trib pointed out, the coffee company has tried these types of shops in Milan, Italy; New York; Seattle; Shanghai; and Tokyo.
Back in September 2018, Starbucks unveiled the first U.S. location of Princi in the West Loop. Princi is an Italian bakery which Starbucks partnered with to bring its breads, pastries, and other baked goods to America. The Michigan Avenue location will also have a full kitchen to serve Princi’s full menu, including square-cut pizzas.
Stay tuned for more coverage before the opening.