Starbucks Is Opening an Astonishing Restaurant That Will Leave You Drooling (or Weeping)
Well, look at this.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Is Starbucks everything it used to be?
Or is it showing a little wear and tear, here and there?
I confess I've been going a little less often because, to my palate, the pastries have become a little threadbare.
And there's the increasing temptation of other local coffee shops that offer, well, the fresh thing.
Still, Starbucks is fulminating with excitement.
I know this because I've just received a press release that tells me that the coffee chain has about to open "Officially the largest, most beautiful Starbucks location in the world."
I confess to being officially confused.
How can something be officially the most beautiful?
Which official has granted this particular Starbucks the title of "most beautiful Starbucks in the world"?
One person's beauty is another person's New York.
I even know people who think the word eggplant is beautiful.
The hyperbole here, though, is to celebrate the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Des Moines, Iowa.
No, wait. It's Shanghai, China.
This 30,000 sq.ft. Basilica of the Bean is a homage to the art of coffee. The art of corporate coffee, that is.
Starbucks tells me that this is the size of 40 average New York City apartments. Well, that'll make the average New York apartment hunter feel better.
It has three coffee experience bars. Because the phrase coffee bar is so dclass.
Oh, and there's "a ceiling consisting of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine."
And somewhere, Michaelangelo moans: "Oh, what a feeling. Why, oh why didn't they ask me first?"
I watched some video from the store -- which officially opens December 6 in China -- and it was mesmerizing.
Imagine going to Eataly, but everything is Starbucks. That's the effect.
Except that here you get the added joy of an Augmented Reality Experience. Haven't you always wanted one of those first thing in the morning?
Please imagine customers wafting in hung over and "simply pointing their phones at key features around the Roastery to bring to life information about the Starbucks bean-to-cup story. Guided through the space by a custom-designed AR 'tour-guide,' customers can unlock virtual badges and a unique Roastery filter to commemorate their visit."
If there's one thing I'm desperate for at the crack of a winter's dawn, it's a filter.
Of course this is all about the ever-increasing joys of globalization.
And lucky Shanghai for hosting this Basilicaf.
I just have a feeling that this is going to be one loud place.
Especially with all those hard-working people paying no-doubt vast prices to get their blood pressures up. (In the U.S. these Roastery places can charge $10 or more.)
But remember, this is what beautiful is all about. Officially.