Starbucks SBUX announced on Wednesday that the "Willy Wonka of Coffee" is coming to Chicago's Michigan Avenue in 2019.
The Starbuck Reserve Roastery promotes the concept of having freshly roasted beans always ready at a high-end scale. It is the primary focus for Howard Schultz, the executive chairman of Starbucks, after he said last December that he will be stepping down as chief executive officer in April.
"It's not a coffee store, the essence of it is the theater and romance and something so experiential," said Schultz. "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."
The Chicago Roastery will be located in the flagship location of Chicago-based furniture retailer Crate & Barrel on Michigan Avenue and Erie Street. The four-story building will be the largest Roastery yet that the coffee giant is brewing around the world.
Including the Chicago location, the Seattle-based company will now have six roasteries globally. It opened its Seattle location in 2014, and the New York City location will open in 2018, while the Shanghai, Milan, and Tokyo locations look to open in the coming year.
Starbucks opened its first Chicago location 30 years ago at 111 W. Jackson Blvd. "At the time, it was a true test for Starbucks because the Chicago customers are so savvy and discerning about their coffee," said Schultz.
Customers will not only be able to experience an interactive tour, multiple brewing methods and tastings, but the Roastery will also feature "fresh baking on-site courtesy of Italian baker Rocco Princi."
The massive Roastery is not the only thing that Chicago is getting from Starbucks. The company is also looking to open and incorporate Reserve brand shops in Chicago. The Reserve stores serve a traditional Starbucks menu in addition to a Roastery-style coffee car and a number of specialty drinks.
The news came the day before the coffee chain giant is scheduled to report its second quarter fiscal 2017 earnings.
While the effect of the new Roastery and Unicorn Frappuccino will not appear on the Starbucks' Q2 earnings, investors will see the effect of digital ordering and revamped customer loyalty program.
The announcement of its new Roastery location pushed Starbucks' stock up 1.02% to $61.58 per share in afternoon trading Wednesday. It would be interesting to see if its Q2 earnings can continue the excitement. (To learn more about what to expect in Starbucks' Q2, check out this Zacks article: Starbucks (SBUX) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Store? )
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