There's a lot to discuss when it comes to the new Starbucks Reserve store at the Empire State Building, which officially opens at 350 Fifth Avenue tomorrow at 9am, but what's most notable within the 23,000-square-foot space is the full-service bar and restaurant that takes over the third floor.
Serving a menu of foods inspired by Italian bakery Princi and created specifically for the destination, the restaurant will start offering dinner as soon as it opens with breakfast, brunch and lunch options commencing in the near future.
As of now, patrons can expect the sorts of baked goods that are already available at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chelsea, including sliced focaccia, avocado toast with smoked salmon and cornetti, but it's the large plates section of the menu that is meant to be the star of the show. Braised chicken cacciatore is listed alongside a dish of lasagna Bolognese, a tuna niçoise salad and a quinoa and black bean polpette order.
Bonus points: each seating will include a complimentary tasting of the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building Microblend, which was created specifically for the new location. It's official: Starbucks has entered the New York City restaurant game.
Two floors below the restaurant, at the concourse level, is the experience area (we are living in the all-things-immersive era, after all). Folks will be able to sign up for a variety of different workshops that will then be led on this floor—think Starbucks Reserve Brewtender for a Day, Whiskey Barrel-Aged 101 and Espresso Martini Flight Fundamentals, for example.
Those interested will also be able to reserve the lounge space for private events.
The store's main level, on the other hand, is most reminiscent of the "average" Starbucks experience. Part of the space is devoted to a classic shopping experience, where customers can buy coffee making supplies, treats, signature blends, cups and more. Right next to it will be a selection of foods from Princi, where guests will also get to order their to-go Starbucks drinks. To note: the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building Microblend, roasted in the Meatpacking District, will be the primary blend for all coffee-based drinks here.
It should come as no surprise that, given the importance of the store's address, the chain has found ways to pay homage to history all throughout the space with hand-painted murals created by New York City-based artist and art deco style details that call out to the building's and Fifth Avenue's mercantile traditions.
Whether the new Starbucks will revolutionize the city's restaurant scene is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: the new destination is a pretty remarkable endeavor.