Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room

This is the second of an eight-part series on our blog, highlighting Historic Seattle’s 2015 Preservation Award recipients. The awards were presented at our 7th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 12, 2015, at the Good Shepherd Center.

Best Adaptive Reuse Project

Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room / Packard Showroom
1124 Pike Street

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting RoomThe Best Adaptive Reuse Award went to Starbucks for its outstanding achievement in the adaptive reuse of the former Packard Seattle auto showroom on Capitol Hill.

In December 2014, Starbucks opened its new roasting facility, café, restaurant, and retail store, Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room. Housed in a former 1920s auto showroom, the elaborately ornamented terra cotta-clad building is a prominent landmark at the corner of Pike Street and Melrose Avenue. The one-of-a-kind specialty roaster concept is a collaboration between Starbucks and Seattle chef Tom Douglas.

The project involved restoring the terra cotta facade and retaining the large window bays to preserve the exterior’s historic character. The interior space was transformed under the keen eye of Liz Muller, Starbucks vice president of Creative and Global Design. Muller remembers standing in the space while Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz described his vision of the space, a “surreal place where the love of coffee must come through…‘Seductive’ was the word he used.”

The original terrazzo and concrete floor, as well as the heavy wood timbers and open floor plan were incorporated with newer design elements such as the angled wood beams at the entrance that are “reminiscent of coffee stir sticks,” and a hand-bent wood baluster.

The roasting process is also fully on display including large storage silos, a custom-engineered pneumatic system for transporting coffee beans, and a hand-hammered copper cask that serves as a visual centerpiece. A Tom Douglas restaurant, Serious Pie, occupies part of the space. A nearby shop area offers Seattle-sourced goods.

Capitol Hill Seattle blog reported, “Capitol Hill’s transformation has carried its auto row buildings from the boom days to bust to a new boom of reuse and development.”

Supporting Partners: Starbucks; Tom Douglas; Graham Baba Architects; JTM Construction; MA Wright LLC; ARUP; Pioneer Masonry; TubeArt.

Photos courtesy of Starbucks.