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Starbucks Is Going Hard on Its Specialty Coffee Stores in New York

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It's planning a roastery in New York for its Reserve line.

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Starbucks Reserve in Chelsea
Starbucks Reserve in Chelsea
Robert Sietsema

Starbucks is trying to get New Yorkers hooked on its specialty coffee line, Reserve. A Starbucks Reserve recently opened in a massive, subterranean gallery space in Chelsea at 525 West 26th St., and now The Real Deal reports that the chain is close to sealing the deal for a second location of a Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in the Meatpacking District, too. The new Starbucks, in the glassy development at 860 Washington St., would be a whopping multi-story, 25,000-square-foot cafe — making it one of the biggest locations in the world.

Starbucks has been branding Reserve as its more upscale option, touting its single-origin and selling it alongside pricey hand grinders and other coffee equipment. The company touts the rareness of the beans, and stores that serve it often use the chain's expensive Clover brewing system. At the Chelsea location, coffee made with Starbucks' Clover Brewing System start at $3.50 for a 12 ounce cup and go up to $6 for a 15 ounce cup, and according to Eater's Robert Sietsema, who visited recently. Typical Starbucks fare like Frappuccinos are not emphasized. It's clearly meant to compete with more serious coffee bars like Blue Bottle or Toby's Estate, he says.

The only other Reserve roastery is in Seattle, where Starbucks is based. Roasting equipment is in open view to customers at the store, and the space has a cafe as well. Similarly, the New York location will have a restaurant, cafe, and lounge, The Real Deal reports. And all the space won't be shared — Starbucks will be the only commercial tenant for the tower once it's complete. Fifty of Manhattan's more than 200 locations sell the pricier Reserve brews, but with a new Reserve roastery, you may be seeing more of this upscale Starbucks coffee around the city.

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