Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago: World's Largest Store to Open on Friday

The world's largest Starbucks will open in Chicago on Friday, November 15. The location on Michigan Avenue, or the Magnificent Mile, will be Starbucks' sixth and final Reserve Roastery and will be heavily focused on creating an immersive customer experience.

This Reserve Roastery location is Starbucks' sixth, after Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York, and Tokyo, and is the world's largest. The first Starbucks roastery opened in Seattle in 2014.

Starbucks' Chicago Reserve Roastery is located at North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street and will take up 35,000 square feet over five floors, will have three coffee bars, a cocktail bar, and an artisan bakery and cafe.

According to Starbucks, the design is inspired by Chicago and the company will collaborate with local artists. For example, visitors will be able to buy artwork by Chicago-based Mac Blackout.

starbucks reserve roastery chicago
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago will be the largest of the six locations in the world. Starbucks

Three bars, the Starbucks Coffee Reserve Bar, Experiential Coffee Bar, and the Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar will offer seven brewing methods, including espresso, pour-over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex, Clover, and cold brewing.

The Arriviamo Cocktail Bar will serve traditional and original cocktails and will serve Chicago beer and wine. The Princi bakery will serve bread, cornetti, focaccia, pizza, salads, cakes and tarts. The Reserve Roastery will also be the only Starbucks location in the U.S. to serve nitrogen gelato.

Visitors will see the coffee-making process from a curved escalator from the first to the second floor, as reported by CNBC. The coffee brewed in the roastery will be served exclusively to the location's visitors.

Starbucks' plans to create a customer experience at the Roastery comes after the company faced criticism for its Use of the Third Place Policy. The policy was intended to make Starbucks feel more welcoming, but instead, it apparently made loyal customers feel alienated and frustrated employees, according to Forbes.

The Use of the Third Place Policy, which was introduced to Starbucks in 2018, meant that anybody could use Starbucks' spaces without making a purchase. Starbucks implemented the policy after facing a controversial incident in which police arrested two black men who asked to use the bathroom without purchasing anything.

According to Starbucks, "any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes, and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer."

Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement: "Over the past five years, we have created the ultimate immersive experience around all-things-coffee in spectacular Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in flagship cities around the world.

"This week we are delighted to open our doors on the sixth global Roastery in an iconic building located on Chicago's renowned Magnificent Mile. These Roasteries amplify the Starbucks brand, serve as innovation hubs, and create experiences for millions of customers around the world."

Starbucks has links to Chicago that date back more than 30 years, as the company opened its first store outside of the Pacific Northwest in the Windy City in 1987. Starbucks now has 796 stores in the region, employing more than 18,100 people. The Roastery employs nearly 200 people.

Additionally, Starbucks announced that it would invest $10 million into four established community development financial institutions (CFDIs) in Chicago. The investment is intended to support Chicago's small businesses and community development projects.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery will open to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 15.