Blue Bottle Coffee, the growing chain of popular pour-over and fine quality espresso cafés, has finally announced the latest slate of cities and locations for its stores in the coming year. With a brand new roasting, kitchen and training facility based in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, Blue Bottle will be able to supply new shops popping up in Boston, Washington D.C., and Miami.
The company, which was started by James Freeman in 2002, expanded out of California’s Bay Area into Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York, which will see an additional six stores opening up to supplement the nine already in operation. One highlight of the latest New York City outposts is a World Trade Center-area location with a small footprint, but sweeping 30-foot-high ceilings. The new spaces are designed by BCJ, a firm that has also worked with companies like Apple and Pixar. Director of café design Arion Paylo says “We try to find a balance between minimalism and a warm, inviting feeling,” while showing off a 140-page book of guidelines and observations that the company has compiled from their 15 years in operation.
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The crown jewel of the East Coast expansion, however, is the Bushwick location, where we toured the pristine roasting room, café, kitchen, training center and warehouse. Blue Bottle baristas enter an extensive six-week program (overseen by master barista and training director Michael Phillips) before becoming certified to serve up coffee, which is part of Blue Bottle’s extensive quality control—a characteristic that has garnered the brand ardent fans. Bushwick seems to be a good fit. CEO Bryan Meehan says, “a lot of our Williamsburg customers were priced out and pushed into Bushwick, so we’re really just following them. We see a lot of the old faces coming back to the new store.”