Sweet Home Chicago
Starbucks Reserve Roastery, North Michigan Avenue
- Well, it’s been
- Well, it’s been a long two years, hasn’t it?
- Testing, Testing, Swab 1-2-3…
- Off to Heathrow (Take the coach they say. It’s fun they say)
- Cathay Pacific T3 lounge, Heathrow Airport
- AA87 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International (Main Cabin Extra)
- Into the USA, Crown Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Airplane Art from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Fooding around Chicago… Badly
- Starbucks Reserve Rosterary, North Michigan Avenue
- Exploring Chicago with a smartphone
- Back to O’Hare, British Airways Lounge
- BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow (World Traveller Plus – Premium Economy)
- Welcome back to the UK, or how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
- To the Journey
Readers of this blog know that I am partial to more than my mug of Starbucks normally.
Whilst other coffee shops exist, I use Starbucks a lot in my home city as there’s a mug of coffee I can stand, along with working Internet and normally a place where I can stick my laptop on so I can get on with things outside the home.
When I’m doing long reviews, writeups or technical reviews – is important.
In Chicago, there is a very big branch of the Starbucks Coffee chain – that is branded as a “Starbucks Reserve Roastery”.
This branch opened late in 2019 and was on my list of places to visit on my next visit. Of course, we all know that Human Malware came into play.
So, with a little time off on the Monday of the trip, it seemed the perfect spot to hang out and type
This Chicago branch has five levels:
- 1st Level – Reserve Coffee Bar
- 2nd Level – Bakery and Cafe
- 3rd Level – Experimental Coffee Bar
- 4th Level – Arrivimo Cocktail Bar
- 5th Level – Rooftop bar
Here are some impressions of each floor.
The 1st level has both a cafe and the main roasting area, as well as the base of the roasting tower.
Level 2 is home to an authentic Italian bakery created by Rocco Princi, who embodies Italian tradition. And there are lots of options.
These pizza slices look better than the deep dish I had the night before.
Level 3 is home to the experimental coffee section. As well as long lines (although that’s a given here).
Level 4 – The level with the bar in it – and yes, alcoholic beverages are on offer for those who wish to indulge.
In the end, I headed to the bakery on the first floor to grab a bit and a drink – a pastry and a grande americano.
Nothing changes for me.
I found a seat in the end – let’s say seating is at a premium in this place, with it well frequented.
Remember what I said about Starbucks being a place for typing as well as a place for drinking coffee? Well, I was catching up with the world and found that Grant Shapps had changed the entry requirements for the United Kingdom… again.
With no laptop on me (that was safely back at the hotel) and no other typing console, it was time to whip out the iPhone and write an article.
Now, whilst WordPress is a… solution (that’s the most generous term I’m going to use), the mobile application is enough to push me over the edge most days of the week, as it insists on working in blocks of content, rather than in a simple plain flow. As such, I end up spending a good deal of time cleaning up afterwards (and it doesn’t help that I don’t have tools like Grammarly to hand – one of the reasons why this blog is a lot more readable than it was in the past).
Nonetheless, I managed to integrate a bit of knowledge, Grant Shapps’s announcement by Tweet (as the Tory party seems to only work by Twitter these days and ignores the press function it has – as well as the House of Commons).
The perfect way to enjoy a coffee and a pastry. I suppose. There are other ways, let us be honest other than reporting on government incompetence at the highest levels.
Overall: I know Starbucks isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee – and I must admit I work and eat at other more local places that roast their beans, pour a V60 and so on. But for those who like Starbucks and like a little variation of the usual recipe and theatre, this is a must-visit.
For those who are good friends of the Green Mermaid, there’s plenty to explore and try (I was going to try the cocktails until I saw the line – as for the experimental coffee, that looked interesting, to put it mildly).
If you’re just after a coffee-to-go, I’d find another branch – as this place is busy and you might spend most of your time waiting, rather than consuming coffee or food.
But if you want an experience with your cup of coffee – this could be a good place to hide from the cold of the city.
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