An iconic brand such as Starbucks is hard-pressed to make a noteworthy interior design impact in any marketplace–the green-dominated color scheme must be consistent, beverage and snack offerings remain unchanged, even the floorplans at times are mirror images despite the city. Not so with the Starbucks Reserve flagship store in Portland, Oregon, a fresh, modern approach to the high-end bean–and beyond–experience.
Designed by Holst Architecture, , this contemporary, LEED® certified store nestled in the Pearl District is evocative of 1930s Modernism and offers a casual, yet elevated urban feel of warehouse-meets-marketplace. The exterior of this 2,300 square-foot store is imposing yet inviting, replete with a retro, white neon sign attracting coffee-drinkers from the street. Upon entering, one will immediately recognize this Starbucks is downright different.
In addition to coffee, tea and pastries, this pioneering location also serves craft beers and wine selections mainly from the Pacific Northwest. Sandwiches and grab-me snacks are no longer this Starbucks’ staple, with a wider array of food including a speciality evening menu being offered.
Vaulted ceilings boasting steel beams and a grid of oversized pendant lighting which is kept dim, showcase the masonry walls and industrial glass display cases. Seating throughout the modern space includes high-top tables, a bar, lounge banquette, and communal tables, all derived from locally-sourced or reclaimed wood, as are the walls and counters. Adding to the distinctive interior design of this location, various furnishings and fixtures were salvaged locally. Notable is the walnut wine bar area, which features backless stools and stemless glass wine-ware emblazoned with the Starbucks name.
Ebony and medium-hued woods warmly drench the interior, while unique touches such as the vast wood-paneling lined with shiny copper coffee bean dispensers, another wall made entirely of tire inner tubes reflective of Portland’s biking passion, and short witty sayings painted on raw wooden panels, all add interest and a rich local flavor to this contemporary retail space.
It’s no surprise this Starbucks Reserve’s customer will want to drink, eat and relax–whether with a frappucino or pinot noir–in this revitalized, modern take on a retail coffee store.