In 2014, when the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in Seattle, Wash., those of us who live nowhere near Seattle simultaneously rejoiced and despaired: We rejoiced at the idea, but despaired that we would ever be able to visit it. Now that there’s going to be one in New York, though — well, that’s a game changer. But where is the Starbucks New York Roastery, anyway? The short answer is that it isn’t technically anywhere yet, since it's still in development and won’t open until 2018 — but we do know where it will be when it finally does open, and the location makes a lot of sense.
According to a press release, the New York Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room will be located in the Meatpacking District on the west side of downtown Manhattan — at 61 9th Ave., to be exact, which formerly housed Prince Lumber. This is excellent news for any Starbucks fans who also happen to spend a ton of time at Chelsea Market, since it’s literally a block away from it. Also in the area is one section of the gorgeous park known as the High Line, which was built on an out-of-use railway trestle and extends from Gansevoort St. up to W. 34th St. The nearest subways to the New York Roastery will be the 14th St. A/C/E stop and the 8th Ave. L stop.
For the curious, here's what the Seattle Roastery looks like; that's also it up top, as well as a little further down, too:
As is the case with a lot of downtown Manhattan (and, well, New York City in general), the history of the Meatpacking District is fascinating. These days, it’s a trendy neighborhood full of shops, and food, and art, and all sorts of other fun things, all running through an array of often cobbled streets with weird little nooks and crannies; over the centuries, though, it’s been home to everything from a military fort to what it says on the label — that is, the district where meat was packed. Originally the location of Fort Gansevoort (not to be confused with its current incarnation), the neighborhood filled with tenements in the early 1800s, gradually becoming a market, as well. By 1900, 250 slaughterhouses and meat packing plants made their home in the area of town that bore their name, and the industry continued apace for decades.
The area went into decline during the ‘60s, however; like so many other food-related industries, changes in freight and the birth of the modern supermarket adversely affected locally-distributed meat and other goods. Around this time, nightclub culture sprang up, and the waterfront area began being put to a new use. Then, in the ‘90s, the Meatpacking District underwent another renaissance, with high-end boutiques and fashionable bars moving in — although according to the neighborhood’s official webpage, five meatpacking companies are still in operation there.
The Roastery itself will fit right in with the current makeup of the neighborhood; according to a press release, it will allow customers to “interact with Starbucks roasters and baristas in order to deepen their understanding of the art behind sourcing, roasting, and brewing rare coffees.” Said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a statement, “Our Seattle Roastery experience created something that had never been done before, transforming a retail environment into something far beyond just a coffee shop and into the single best retail experience of any kind.” He continued, “In New York, we want to take elements from what we originally created and build something even bigger and bolder, celebrating coffee and craft in a completely unique and differentiated way. We want this experience to tell our customers that we’re coming to Broadway.”
The New York Roastery building will be designed by Rafael Viñoly; the completion date is projected as being the end of 2017, at which point 61 9th Ave. will be approximately 170,000 square feet and nine stories high. Get ready for one heck of a coffee experience!
Images: Starbucks (3)