When Starbucks opened its first Reserve Roastery nearly two years ago in Seattle, it created an immersive coffee destination unlike any other, where the theater of coffee takes center stage. Starting today, Starbucks customers in Los Angeles will have their own premium retail coffee experience inspired by the Roastery.
The Starbucks store on La Brea Avenue (359 South La Brea Ave.) will be the first of its kind in Southern California to integrate an interactive coffee bar where the company’s small-lot Reserve coffee can come to life. Starbucks® stores with Reserve coffee bars will make up 20 percent of its store portfolio by 2021.
Starbucks has been a part of the California coffee scene since 1991, with more than 900 locations in the L.A. metro area, including distinctive stores at Highland & Willoughby and Hollywood & Vine. The new Starbucks store in La Brea is at a crossroads between Hollywood and Beverly Hills, hubs for fashion, arts and entertainment. Here Starbucks is a fusion of these worlds with a new coffee-forward experience.
From the moment customers walk in through the corner entry doors, they are welcomed into a bright, lofty space with a grand chandelier to evoke the historic L.A. mid-century modern style. The show-stoppers are the two long bars that run along the axis of the space. The bar is built for two speeds – commuters popping in for a quick stop, and others who would like to engage in a conversation about coffee. Starbucks® Reserve small-lot coffees are featured and the beverages are crafted with a variety of brewing methods, including Siphon, Clover, Pour Over, Nitro Cold Brew taps and Black Eagle manual espresso. At the end of the bar is a tasting space where a row of glowing siphon brewers beckon with an illuminated Reserve brand logo.
“We wanted to create connection back to the Roastery, but in a way that reflects an authentic California lifestyle focusing on warmth and casual conversation – both playful and sophisticated,” said, Min Cho, Starbucks managing director for store design.
The design features an oak louvered wall and copper backdrop that echoes the Roastery and evokes a California sunset. Materials and lines are uniquely mid-century, tying into the style and architecture of the neighborhood. The team commissioned an artist to create botanical vignettes that appear and disappear.
“The art layer is very playful, almost whimsical; one has to discover it,” Cho said. “It threads you through the space, taking you on a coffee journey.”
Many U.S. cities have already started getting Reserve bars this year including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston and Redwood City, California.