If Goldilocks were reimagined as a Seattle coffee connoisseur, she’d likely find your average Starbucks café too pedestrian, the Capitol Hill Roastery too lofty (and crowded). But the new Reserve store—open today in the shadow of the mermaid at the coffee giant’s SoDo HQ—is juuuuuuuust right.
The spacious new café, over a year in the making, takes its concept of “third place”—your space, in addition to work and home—one step further in the Reserve store. It features the greatest experiential elements of the Roastery facility and dials it up: more modern, cozy seating options; two fireplaces; communal working spaces; fresh baked goods from Italian bakery partner Princi; innovative coffee beverages and after-work cocktails. Somehow, the result is more casual, more hygge. And it’s not just for Starbucks’ employees. They envision this as a community gathering space—presumably with less foot traffic and tourist buses than the Roastery.
Starbucks is calling this café a marketplace, and it does have the stylized retail selections (t-shirts, coffee nerd brewing technology, etc.) of the Roastery. But it’s still a café first and foremost. You should order the spiced ginger cold brew, a combo of ginger ale, burnt cinnamon syrup and cold brew. You should have one of the Princi creations that feature cheese and cured meat and fresh bread (there are many). And you should take advantage of the free two-hour parking—bring a book, or a friend, and stay awhile. The parking alone makes this place worth choosing over the Roastery.
We’re anticipating this model will take off in other cities; Starbucks wouldn’t comment on where and when another Reserve store may open, but they said up to 1000 could be open around the world in the future. (Meanwhile, Shanghai got a Roastery last year and Milan’s will open this year.)
Starting today, hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends. Happy hour, with aperol spritz and espresso martinis, starts at 4 p.m.
Like a campfire, but indoors.