Inside Starbucks’ Massive New Wonka-esque ‘Roastery’

The new destination features a coffee pipeline, massive copper roasters and a 60-foot cocktail bar.

By Ethan L. Johns
December 13, 2018

Images: Starbucks

If you’re looking for an extremely fresh cup of Joe, odds are you’ll find it at Starbucks’ new Reserve Roastery, which opens in New York City on December 14th.

That’s because the three-level, 23,000-square-foot coffee shop, located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, contains two actual coffee roasting machines—one with a capacity of 260 pounds of green coffee—which are set and ready to process a whopping 1.5 million pounds per year.

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The New York Roastery is the coffee chain’s fourth, joining the other current locations in Seattle, Shanghai and Milan. Two more are planned for 2019: one in Tokyo and the other in Chicago.

Customers visiting the new location might find themselves overwhelmed. At the main bar to the right of the 9th Avenue entrance, customers can pick their favorite drink, prepared in a myriad of ways (including using Starbucks’ proprietary “Clover” machine, as well as pour-over, Chemex, cold brew, nitro or “siphon,” which looks like a wild test tube experiment). At the “Experience Bar” downstairs, table service offers the opportunity to explore coffee styles that you might not have tried. And at the “Scooping Bar,” you can get your beans by the pound.

Joining these three bars is the upstairs mezzanine “Arriviamo Bar,” which is 60 feet of cocktail and aperitivo space. Brace yourself; the signature alcoholic preparations range in price from $20 to $23, while the “Spiritfree” mixtures—featuring coffees and teas— cost $16.

Also on the ground floor is the Princi bakery counter, where cast iron ovens transform dough into various breads, and where you’ll be able to find salads, sandwiches and pastries.

The space’s design is impressive, accented with copper details everywhere. The ceiling features a system of pipes that bring fresh coffee beans from the roasting machines and dump them out into glass vats behind the various bars. The 10-foot Starbucks siren, sculpted by New York artist Max Steiner, emerges from a wall. There is a fireplace (yes, New Yorkers, a fireplace).

While the ensemble feels a bit like a “Coffeeland” amusement park at first glance, the design elements are more local in their intentionality.

“The meatpacking district has a fantastic history of industry, and the neighborhood has an electric energy; it is alive,” said Starbucks’ chief design officer, Liz Muller, in a statement. “We’ve designed a space where the excitement and dynamic activity of the neighborhood is mirrored in the Roastery. We want our customers to come in and feel very inspired.”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns