World's largest Starbucks to open in Chicago on Friday

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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TAKE A LOOK INSIDE: The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago opens Friday on Michigan Avenue.

CHICAGO -- The "largest Starbucks in the world" is finally opening this week.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago opens at 9:00 a.m. Friday on Michigan Avenue.

The four-story business took over the former location for Crate and Barrel and sits at a staggering 43,000 square feet.

"This roaster is a representation of the relationship Starbucks has had with the city of Chicago," said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

Starbucks opened its first coffee shop outside the Pacific Northwest in Chicago more than 30 years ago.

"It's been a major market for us since 1987 and so now again we are going to play a big role with what we've got here with this iconic space," said Shauna McKenzie-Lee, general manager of the Chicago Roastery.

Chicago's roaster will be the largest of a limited number of specialty cafes around the world offering customers an immersive and sensory experience from bean to cup.

"You see the pipes that shoot the beans from floor to floor; the interior, the colors, the lighting," McKenzie-Lee said.

Each floor offers customers a different take on caffeine, from watching the roasting process on the first floor all the way up to special Chicago-inspired coffee cocktails on the fourth floor.

"So we're taking the most local Chicago ingredients, combining that with Starbucks expertise and coffee, all in the way of expressing an industrial identity that Chicago has," Rachel Miller, mixologist for Menu Collective.

Starbucks also brought in local artists to cover each floor with Chicago art, thus best representing the host city.

"This is one of the most beautiful architectural spaces I have ever been in and it's right here in Chicago now, and I get to be part of that aesthetic story and it's, like, historic," said Molly Z, Chicago public and community artist.

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Officials said this location will officially be the largest Starbucks in the world.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is located at 646 N. Michigan Avenue.