World’s largest Starbucks to open Friday in Chicago

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CNN) — The “largest Starbucks in the world” is opening this week in Chicago.

The building is 43,000 square feet and four-stories tall.

Coffee giant Starbucks is getting ready to open what appears to be a giant coffee palace but with a hyper hometown feel.

“This roastery is a representation of the relation Starbucks has had with the city of Chicago,” said CEO Kevin Johnson. 

Starbucks opened its first coffee shop outside the Pacific Northwest in Chicago more than three decades ago.

“It’s been a major market for us since 1987 and so now again we are going to play a big role with what we’ve got here with this iconic space,” said General Manager of the Chicago Roastery Shauna McKenzie-Lee. 

The Chicago roastery will officially open in the former Crate and Barrel location along the city’s Magnificent Mile.

It will be the largest of a limited number of specialty cafes around the world offering customers an immersive and sensory experience from bean to cup.

“You see these pipes that shoot the beans from floor-to-floor; the interior, the colors, the lighting,” McKenzie-Lee.

Now this isn’t your standard Starbucks shop.

Each floor offers customers a different take on caffeine from watching the roasting process on the first floor all the way up to specialty Chicago inspired coffee cocktails on the fourth floor.

“So we’re taking most local Chicago ingredients combining that with Starbucks expertise and coffee  all in the way expressing an industrial identity that Chicago has,” said Mixologist Rache Miller. 

And to provide a more hometown feel, Starbucks brought in local artists color each floor with Chicago art  to best represent the host city of the new roastery.

“To me this is one of the most beautiful architectural spaces I have ever been in and it’s right here in Chicago now and I get to be part of that aesthetic story and it’s like historic,” said Molly Z, Chicago artist. 

If you want to get the full Starbucks reserve roastery experience, it will officially open Friday morning.

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