Check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Let me start out by saying that there is nothing free or cheap at the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery except the views. It’s a gorgeous space and definitely a splurge-worthy experience. This isn’t the Starbucks to go to to get a cup of coffee, because the lines are long and the prices are higher. You’re going to spend $10-$15 on a pizza, salad or sandwich and $10-$15 for a glass of wine or a cocktail. Espressos start at $4.50, lattes $6 etc. (see menu below). The “experiential” coffee on the 3rd floor is more expensive such as a latte is $8. Plus tax and tip.
Get a discount using your Starbucks card You can use your Starbucks card/app to pay and earn stars. You cannot redeem any rewards, regular or birthday. If you’re like me and only reload your card when there’s a deal then you can get a discount. You can reload for 20% off on Black Friday with the Sam’s Club deal or on Cyber Monday with the Starbucks deal so you can get 20% off on future purchases at the Roastery.
I went at 9:15AM on a Monday and there was no line – outside. I was told that the best time to go is between 7AM-10AM Monday-Thursday otherwise waits can be between 15 minutes to and hour and a half (on weekends). There were lines inside at every register except at the bar (4th floor). You cannot use the app to order and pick up. You must stand in line. I didn’t have time to wait but I will go back, pick up food and sit at the beautiful bar! I was told that at this time there are plans to ever enable the app at the Roastery. Address: 646 N. Michigan
Please buy your stuff and leave
The building, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, looks the same on the outside and inside it’s light and airy with natural light. It’s a beautiful space. There are no outlets anywhere and the seating is, while comfortable, not meant for you to plug in and sit there all day.
The Reserve Roastery’s 35,000 square feet and five floors house three coffee bars, a cocktail bar and an artisan bakery and cafe. There are food and beverages on every floor (except 5) and each floor has it’s own menu.
1st floor: Basic food and basic coffee
2nd floor: pizza, salads etc. from Italian bakery Princi. Princi is an upscale Italian bakery chain that Starbucks backed in 2016 and agreed to license globally. There’s a location at 1000 W. Randolph. I’ve never been there nor heard of it.
3rd floor: customers can order coffee brewed using seven methods including Knob creek bourbon-barrel aged coffee. Yes please!
4th floor bar: regular and craft cocktails
5th floor: rooftop
Take the curved escalator up to the second floor. The only other curved escalator I’ve ever been on is at the Forum Shops in Caesers Palace in Vegas. Purportedly it’s the only one in the Midwest. Check out each floor. If you see seating by the window grab it. Get one person to hold the seats while the other(s) stand in line and order and pick up the food. The other option is the bar which is a great space. There was plenty of seating up there when I went. Also check out the 5th floor view. You can take the stairs or the elevator. And when departing the only way to get from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor is the stairs or elevator.
The Roastery Experience
That’s how Starbucks describes it on their website – The Roastery Experience. The Roastery is a brand amplifier meant to market the brand in an upscale way. You’ll spend substantially more there than at your regular Starbucks but it’s an experience and well worth it. Reload your Starbucks card at 20% off on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and enjoy The Roastery Experience at a discount! Cheers!