Starbucks shelves 'stealth' cafe names, moves ahead with wine and beer
The Starbucks at 1600 E. Olive Way on Capitol Hill is expected to close in July for a two-month remodel that includes new deck seating, an indoor-outdoor fireplace and a 360-degree coffee and wine bar with narrow countertops to let baristas interact more closely with customers.
Seattle Times business reporter
Starbucks is removing the stealth factor from an innovative store program it launched last year with two cafes on Capitol Hill that do not carry its name.
The chain has learned a lot from 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea and Roy Street Coffee & Tea, which will keep their current names, said Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum.
But the next store that opens with a unique design and occasional live entertainment will be called Starbucks. It also will be the first Starbucks-branded store to offer beer and wine.
The Starbucks store at 1600 E. Olive Way on Capitol Hill is expected to close in July for a two-month remodel that includes new deck seating, an indoor-outdoor fireplace and a 360-degree coffee and wine bar with narrow countertops to let baristas interact more closely with customers.
Starbucks will continue serving coffee from a van on the property during the remodel.
Its design will be more rustic and industrial than traditional Starbucks cafes, like the stealth and several other recently remodeled stores.
A Starbucks cafe at University Village, for example, features redwood siding reclaimed from hop-vine poles in Eastern Washington and cabinets made of wood from old school bleachers.
Coffee beans and coffee makers also figure big in the new layout.
There will be two of Starbucks' coveted Clover machines, which work like elaborate, electronic French presses, and coffee pour-overs, a method many people use while camping that has become all the rage at coffee bars around the country.
Baristas will scoop and weigh coffee beans for customers at the bar, said Kambiz Hemati, Starbucks' director of concept design.
Starbucks does not disclose how much the remodels cost.
A typical new store costs about $450,000, including employee training, according to analyst Sharon Zackfia of William Blair & Co.
She likes that Starbucks is keeping an eye on design, especially with players like McDonald's updating their looks.
The burger chain plans to roll out a new "coffeehouse" design with lounge chairs and fireplaces.
Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or firstname.lastname@example.org