Starbucks has formally announced plans to take over the four-story Michigan Avenue building occupied by Crate and Barrel for a new Starbucks Reserve Roastery flagship for Chicago. The Seattle-based coffee giant will not only get a prime piece of Chicago real estate as a retail store, but the new location will also serve as a roastery and offer interactive experiences to customers.
In its formal announcement, Starbucks suggests that the new 43,000 square-foot flagship will act as a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting,” which will roast and package its upscale Starbucks Reserve coffees for sale. In the release, Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz says that the timing of the announcement is significant as this year marks 30 years since the company opened its first Chicago store.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggests that the announcement is another vote of confidence in Michigan Avenue and Chicago as a whole. “This Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be an investment in Chicago and a strong addition to Michigan Avenue, where residents and visitors can enjoy incredible coffees from around the world in a remarkable environment,” Emanuel proclaimed in the company’s official press release.
Crate and Barrel reps tell the Tribune that they plan to stay open through the holiday season, but will likely close shortly after. From there, the building will undergo a complete overhaul and rebranding. The Michigan Avenue store will become Starbucks’s third Roastery location in the United States when it opens in 2019.