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Five Starbucks Store Designs Inspired by History



Every neighborhood has a story, and often that history can be inspiration for store designers.
Many modern retail chains are making more of an effort to preserve and expand on the legacy of the spaces and neighborhoods they choose to inhabit. With a little extra work, architects and interior designers can build upon existing structures and find clever ways of harmoniously incorporating the new into the old. When chains and franchises are better able to appreciate the unique qualities of the neighborhoods they're becoming a part of, potential customers are less likely to feel antagonized by its presence.

We’ve come up with a list of Starbucks stores that have made a concerted effort to pay homage to the history of the unique locations they carry forward.

Here are a five Starbucks stores that pay tribute to the past with reimagined spaces: a warehouse loading dock transformed with a nod to its maritime roots, an abandoned gas station restored to its heyday, and a new Starbucks home for baseball fans in an old Chicago bar. 

Zulily, Seattle

Zulily Starbucks Store

Starbucks has always “harbored” a fondness for nautical life. In fact, the Starbucks logo itself, “the siren,” symbolizes the passage of coffee beans around the world by sea. Pike Place Market is home to the first Starbucks location in the world. The store sits just off the seashore, offering customers a contemplative environment with a refreshing breeze where one can relax and reflect on Starbucks’s rich maritime history.

Richmond & Spadina, Toronto

Richmond Spading Toronto

The designers of the Starbucks store at Richmond and Spadina took extra care to honor the textile history of the neighborhood. The store appears almost as if it had been the side-project of a textile merchant; on prominent display are measuring sticks embedded in countertops, old-fashioned sewing machines, pressed and framed coffee bags, and burlap sacks of coffee beans. It’s almost believable until one realizes that Starbucks was only founded in 1971.

11 Penn Plaza, New York

Penn Plaza New York

As one of the most high-volume Starbucks locations in New York City, the design of the 11 Penn Plaza location acknowledges the hustle and bustle of Penn Station and the many ways that one can commute through the city. The ceiling incorporates lighted train tracks, and artist Jake Wallace’s work proudly reflects the industrial feel of nearby city structures.

Addison & Sheffield, Chicago

Addison Sheffield Chicago

Located just next to Wrigley Field, this Starbucks store used to house a restaurant that was closed when there weren't any baseball games. During the fall, when baseball season was over, the store became a popup Halloween shop. Starbucks designers chose to maintain the long bar that ran all the way through the restaurant. The finished design incorporates baseball regalia and a classic Chicago-style atmosphere.

Highland & Willoughby, Hollywood

Starbucks On Highland

This location was a former gas station that had been left dormant and boarded-up for twenty years. When Starbucks bought the building, they decided to do their best to restore the old-time gas station, even going so far as to include drive-up and walk-up windows. The architects also preserved much of the art deco facade of the former 1935 auto station.

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