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STORE SPACES

Check out Starbucks’ newest Reserve flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

Chinese history meets Starbucks’ coffeehouse culture in the company’s new Reserve flagship, in Tianjin, China.

The outpost is located in one of the city’s most iconic historical landmarks, a Renaissance-style building constructed in 1921. The location, which originally housed a legendary bank, was officially designated as a city heritage site in 1997 and has been left vacant for the past two decades. Starbucks preserved the building’s original architecture and restored it to its full splendor — including its glass dome, imported marble columns and marble carvings — while infusing modern, creative elements that complement and give new life to the space.

As part of the renovation, the original bank counters were fully preserved, allowing customers a peek into what a bank from a century ago looked and felt like. Meanwhile, creative use of bronze tubes ensured that no nail had to be struck into the columns when lighting was installed. Lighting and air conditioning systems were also ingeniously embedded into the glass dome.

At the center of the main hall is a U-shaped Reserve Bar, where baristas craft Starbucks Reserve beverages from small-lot coffees. The flagship also features a dedicated Teavana Bar area, complete with a tea room. Customers who want something stronger can enjoy cocktails and food in the Bar Mixato.

“Over the past 20 years in China, Starbucks has constantly pushed to innovate and reimagine the Third Place experience, to bring people and communities closer together,” said Leo Tsoi, senior VP, COO and president, Starbucks China – retail. “We are immensely proud and privileged to preserve a revered piece of history that binds together four generations of Tianjin residents, and to share this rich cultural inheritance with more people, passing it on to future generations.”

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