Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.
Today, we’re talking Starbucks’ new Reserve store in the Empire State Building.
Starbucks announced Tuesday that another New York City Reserve store is opening on Nov. 16 inside the Empire State Building. Like many of the other Reserve locations, this 23,000-square-foot, three-floor store will feature cocktails, elevated bites from Princi and exclusive coffee drinks, as well as classes, workshops and tasting flights.
While Starbucks has several Reserve stores and bars currently open in New York City, this upcoming Empire State Building store will be one of the largest — rivaling the flagship Reserve Roastery location in Chelsea. It will be the only store to feature Starbucks’ new brewing method, born out of the company’s R&D team: cold-pressed espresso, which “uses cold water and gentle, upward pressure to unlock a softer, sweeter espresso shot, similar to a slow-steeped cold brew" but will not have a coffee roaster on site.
On the same day that Starbucks announced the opening of the new Reserve store, staff at the flagship Roastery went on strike to protest the corporation’s lack of response to “urgent health and safety conditions” at the store, including allegations of bedbugs and black mold. The Starbucks Roastery store unionized in April of this year after a National Labor Relations Board election. The Roastery joins the Williamsburg Starbucks Reserve location in Brooklyn, which similarly went on strike earlier this month “in response to the company’s unilateral changes to benefits and store hours without bargaining.”
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