The world’s largest Starbucks will open on November 15 in a former Crate and Barrel in Chicago—a mere three-quarters of a mile from The Takeout world headquarters. Starbucks executives promise a veritable caffeinated wonderland, a “theatrical, experiential [shrine] to coffee passion.” The news has been reported by nearly every media outlet in town. We are excited! (It doesn’t matter that most of us try to leave that stretch of Michigan Avenue to the tourists and avoid it as much as possible.)
There will be a roaster on the premises. There will be tours. There will be coffee drinks “inspired by the culture and traditions of Chicago.” (Does that mean they will be spiked with malort?) There will be alcohol, blended into cocktails by some of the city’s finest mixologists. There will be a kitchen and freshly-made (not reheated) pizza and pastry. There will be more, much more, but Starbucks won’t reveal any of it until the opening. (Will there be a coffee version of a McDonald’s Play Place, including a ball pit of coffee beans? We can only hope.)
This will be the the world’s sixth and final Starbucks Reserve Roastery. (The others are in Seattle, Milan, Shanghai, New York, and Tokyo.) But it’s going to be the biggest! So it doesn’t matter at all that the coasts got it first.