Starbucks Is Opening A Massive Store In The Empire State Building

It's been a weird year for Starbucks. Not only has the coffee chain faced criticism for how it's handled employee unionization efforts, but business is down, too. Sales were off by 24% in September (via CNBC), and now, it seems like Starbucks is trying to reinvent itself. In fact, the company even unveiled an official "reinvention plan" in September, and CEO Howard Shultz said, "We have already begun to take action on an inspired roadmap to build the future of Starbucks" (via Starbucks).

It looks like one of the stops on that roadmap is going to be in New York City. The chain has announced that it will be opening up a new Starbucks Reserve store in the Empire State Building on November 16, 2022, according to QSR. Starbucks Reserve locations are more upscale than traditional Starbucks stores, and depending on the location, they can contain cocktail bars, an expanded baked goods selection, and coffee drinks you won't find on the menu at any other typical Starbucks (via Insider). 

There are already two Starbucks Reserves in New York, where customers can order from a menu packed with options like whiskey barrel-aged cold brew and nitro almond milk mochas. But the Empire State Building location is slated to be bigger and better, and it will be the only Starbucks Reserve to serve one specific kind of coffee.

Cold-pressed espresso will be served

What can customers expect at the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building? For starters, it's going to be gigantic, spanning three floors and boasting 23,000 square feet of space (via QSR). This location will also become the home of an exclusive beverage: the Cold-Pressed Espresso

Longtime customers of Starbucks may recognize this drink from its September 2017 debut at Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle. According to Starbucks, the new drink is mixed via a patent-pending brewing process that uses cold water that is filtered up through ground espresso to brew. The result is a more mellow, smooth espresso shot that can be sipped on its own or made into drinks like lattes.

The official Empire State Building Twitter account had a cheeky exchange with the official Starbucks account, saying, "Want to get an espresso martini with an icon soon, @Starbucks?" to which Starbucks replied, "See you on November 16!" As for whether or not the new store will really help with Starbucks' reinvention remains to be seen. 

However, judging by the replies to the social media exchange, it seems like the chain's alleged union-busting is still on a lot of peoples' minds, so it will be interesting to see if the splashy new store can help boost the company's reputation.