As Air New Zealand continues its direct flights from Auckland to New York, customers hanging out for a great cup of coffee on their arrival have a new ‘must go’ destination.
Spanning 23,000 square feet and three floors, Starbucks’ new Empire State Building store, opened on November 17 celebrates connecting over coffee through innovative experiences such as immersive hands-on workshops and guided tasting flights, as well as new coffee beverages and craft cocktails, and an extended artisan menu of Princi food only available on site.
“Starbucks Reserve locations are designed to spotlight our exquisite Starbucks Reserve® coffee and showcase our heritage, expertise, and dedication to coffee craft through interactive coffee experiences where barista craft is the cornerstone,” said Mark Ring, Senior Vice President of U.S. retail at Starbucks.
“The Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store is a one-of-a-kind destination that highlights our commitment to push the boundaries of coffee craft and offer our customers new, immersive and multi-sensory coffeehouses that are designed to inspire and create moments of connection in this special space.”
“We are honoured to have been a part of New York City for more than thirty years and the iconic Empire State Building for almost 15 years. We look forward to welcoming customers to the new Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store on Nov. 16, an experience like no other, in a city like no other,” said Ring.
Connecting Over Coffee
On the first floor, customers can enjoy a variety of Starbucks beverages from signature Starbucks Reserve® beverages such as the Hazelnut Bianco Latte and Nitro Almondmilk Mocha, to favourites like Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and Starbucks Refreshers® beverages, as well as seasonal coffees like the Peppermint Mocha – all crafted with Starbucks Reserve coffee.
The store will also exclusively serve and sell Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building® Microblend, a coffee that was inspired by and honors the iconic building and is roasted locally at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery located in the Meatpacking district. This unique coffee, which will be the primary blend used to craft the beverages and cocktails served throughout the store, offers notes of red and black fruit, vanilla, and spice with a smooth, chocolaty mouthfeel.
To complement the beverage menu, customers can also enjoy a selection of food from Princi, the renowned artisanal boutique bakery and café founded by Italian baker Rocco Princi. As the exclusive food purveyor at Starbucks Reserve locations, Princi offers a selection of freshly baked cornetti, focaccia and pizza, avocado toast, brioche, cakes and tarts.
The first floor will also feature a personalized shopping experience where customers can browse a variety of curated local artist merchandise collections and explore seasonally rotating Starbucks Reserve whole bean coffee for purchase.
Unique Coffeehouse Experiences
The concourse level offers customers the opportunity to explore the art of carefully crafted beverages and food. From the guided tastings at the Innovation Bar to the aromas and flavors of tasting flights and small bites served in the Experience Lounge, to the hands-on Starbucks Reserve Coffee Workshops.
Exclusive to the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store, customers can be among the first to experience the evolution of espresso with Starbucks Cold Pressed Espresso beverages. Designed by Starbucks, the patented brewing technology uses cold water and gentle, upward pressure to unlock a softer, sweeter espresso shot. The Cold Pressed Espresso Tasting Experience is a guided, multi-sensory tasting flight featuring several new beverages such as the Iced Apple Americano and Malted Milkshake with Black Lemon. This reservation-only experience is offered daily at the Innovation Bar.
The Starbucks Reserve Coffee Workshops, also located on the concourse level, are interactive, small group workshops that are grounded in coffee and beverage craft. These first-of-their-kind workshops include Whiskey Barrel-Aged 101, Starbucks Reserve Brewtender for A Day, Espresso Martini Flight Fundamentals and Fun with Spirit-Free Spritzes.
Customers may purchase tickets to the workshops or make reservations to the Innovation Bar tasting on the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building website in advance.
At the Experience Lounge customers can relax and recharge with Starbucks Reserve beverages and a curated selection of small bites. Here customers can also order signature tableside flights such as the Single Origin Brew & Bites Flight, Espresso Martini & Dessert Flight, Cold Brew & Sweets, or the Empire Affogato Flight.
Next level food and cocktails
The restaurant and bar on level two is a space made for gathering, sharing, and connecting. Here customers can enjoy artisanal food from Princi created exclusively by Starbucks Reserve. The menu features signature tasting boards and plates, and entrees for brunch, lunch, and all day long. Honouring Starbucks tradition of starting gatherings with a coffee tasting, every meal will start with a complimentary first sip tasting of Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building Microblend.
On this level, customers can also enjoy a selection of thoughtfully curated Starbucks Reserve cocktails to share that pay tribute to this iconic space. Available exclusively at this store, the coffee and tea sharable cocktails include the Empire Negroni, Siren Tea Punch Fountain, Starbucks Reserve Royale Experience, and the Big Apple Blossom, which will be delivered table-side. A selection of signature Starbucks Reserve coffee cocktails, such as the Starbucks Reserve Boulevardier and Espresso Martini, and classic cocktails are also available.
Honouring the iconic Art Deco design
Starbucks takes the utmost respect and care when planning and designing spaces for its stores, ensuring the design honors the history of the space while also fostering connection and creating accessible experiences for customers. Throughout the design and construction process, Starbucks worked closely with the team at Empire State Realty Trust (the owner of the Empire State Building) its historic landmark preservation consultant and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure the space honored the historic building.
The Empire State Building is a New York icon and testament to artistry of the Art Deco style, which is defined by strong geometric patterns, rich colors, and ornamental details. These design elements can be found throughout the store – from the columns and walls to the art installations, glass partitions and furniture – as modern interpretations of the Art Deco style and materiality of the Empire State Building.
The Starbucks design team also worked with the Empire State Building team to revitalize and restore several elements that were original to the space. On the façade the exterior mullion and revolving door configuration was restored, and the storefront finials were brought back to original condition.
Inside the store, marble was restored and traditional concrete terrazzo stonework was installed at the lobby entrance; and the second-floor windows were restored to their original full ceiling height. To celebrate the history of the building, Starbucks removed concrete covering the original hand-riveted steel columns. The store, in addition to the Empire State Building Observatory Experience, is one of the few places visitors can view the original riveted columns within the building.
Art is omnipresent in the store and all artistic installations within space were influenced by the Empire State Building’s iconic style, craftsmanship, and optimism. Starbucks commissioned New York-based artists to create the installations, murals, and merchandise that spotlight Art Deco flourishes, the building’s spirit, and the essence of Starbucks and the origins of coffee. Read more about the store’s design and unique, original artwork here.
Leading in Coffee Innovation
Starbucks began its journey over fifty years ago to make premium arabica coffee accessible to all while fostering a culture of connection. Since the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened in Seattle in 2014, the company’s aspirations for Starbucks Reserve remains the same – to spotlight the exquisite Starbucks Reserve coffee and showcase the company’s heritage, expertise, and dedication to coffee through immersive experiences where barista craft is at the center of the experience. Starbucks Reserve locations shine a halo on the brand and serve as a pipeline of product innovation that can then be brought to scale in the broader Starbucks retail footprint. The new Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building provides an opportunity to continue pushing the boundaries on coffee craft and the coffeehouse experience.
The Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store joins the Starbucks Reserve portfolio that includes six Starbucks Reserve Roasteries located in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York, Tokyo, and Chicago, as well as Starbucks Reserve locations around the world.
Starbucks heritage in New York City dates to 1994 and the company has operated stores in the Empire State Building since 2008. New York City continues to be a place where Starbucks introduces new store concepts and offers a variety of experiences – from the first Starbucks® Pickup store to the immersive Starbucks Reserve® Roastery located in the Meatpacking district.
The Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store opens on Wednesday, Nov. 16. For more information, including hours of operation, please visit starbucksreserve.com/en-us/locations/esb.