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Starbucks Confirms Opening of Monster-Sized Roastery in the MePa

It's part of the chain's push of its upscale, small-batch coffee.

Starbucks Roastery
Starbucks Roastery in Seattle

The much-rumored Starbucks Death Star — a more than 20,000-square-foot roastery and retail shop — will officially be opening in the Meatpacking District in 2018, the coffee giant announced on Tuesday. New York's Starbucks Roastery at 61 Ninth Ave. will be much like the first roastery in the chain's home base of Seattle, which opened in 2014, with a focus on the chain's specialty coffee line Starbucks Reserve. When open, it will be one of the biggest Starbucks locations in the world.

Starbucks has been eyeing real estate to open a roastery focused on its small batch roasting line for a while now, part of the company's larger push in New York of its upscale offerings. Earlier this year, the chain also opened its first Starbucks Reserve retail shop in Chelsea at 525 West 26th St., a massive gallery space whose menu downplayed the sugary drinks its become known for. When Starbucks opened a location in Williamsburg in 2014, it debuted a special bar for its Reserve coffees. And word is that Starbucks is planning more smaller, Reserve-focused shops in New York in the future, too.

But the roastery will be the centerpiece of the New York coffee takeover plan. "We want this experience to tell our customers that we're coming to Broadway," CEO Howard Schultz says in a statement. Like the Seattle roastery, the new New York location will be roasting beans on site and encouraging engagement between the roasters and customers. In a statement, Starbucks called the roastery "an homage to coffee" and "like coffee theater, where the small-batch roasting process takes center stage." The property itself, which is a block south of Chelsea Market, is a nine-story building to be finished by the end of 2017.