Starbucks Wants to Build the Eataly of Coffee

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Does New York want a gigantic new Starbucks? The company bets yes.

Starbucks is hunting for a massive NYC space, reports the New York Post. It seems the mega-chain wants to introduce the city to a mega-café modeled after themed, multi-station food halls like Eataly. It could occupy up to 25,000 square feet.

This new spot won't be the first of its kind. Last year, the company opened Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle. That space, which houses two coffee bars, two roasting facilities, a restaurant and a 200-book "coffee library," puts a spotlight on the brand's pricier, higher-end Reserve coffees, as opposed to workaday Frappuccinos. It may have cost $20 million to build (reports The Stranger), and replicating it in New York City would probably incur even greater costs. A space that size would be incredibly expensive to rent, and Starbucks is already squeezed in NYC's tough real estate market.

When the chain took to Manhattan in the mid-'90s, it won customers with its friendly staff and drinks that seemed revelatory compared to ubiquitous bodega coffee. Today, Starbucks is the ubiquitous option and there's tremendous competition from smaller, fast-growing, third-wave roasters like Blue Bottle and Stumptown. Could a caffeine-fueled theme park give Starbucks the edge again? Perhaps, but we recommend they start with just getting our names right.

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