When we reported last summer that our biggest neighborhood coffee purveyor was soon to be renovated, we said patrons should expect no significant changes to the menu as a result of the revamp. We noted that although Starbucks had recently been experimenting with evening wine and beer sales at one of its Capitol Hill locations, the company had no intention of extending the experiment to Madison Park. We had that on pretty good authority.
Within 24 hours, however, Corporate Headquarters took note of our story, and we were asked to take our posting down. Which we did. Starbucks later requested that before we reposted the story we remove all mention of alcoholic beverages. We suspected that we had not heard the last of the issue--and we were right. Starbucks now confirms that wine and beer will be on the menu once the Madison Park store has been revamped.
Moreover, what was originally thought to be just a minor re-do of the existing space is actually going to be quite a transformation. Starbucks spokesperson Stacey Krum admits that it's now a more ambitious project than first envisioned. The new store will, in fact, be similar in design to Starbucks' Capitol Hill location on Olive Way--including "green elements," lots of wood, and new furniture and fixtures.
What happened? According to Krum, the Corporation has learned some things at Olive Way and wants to expand the experiment begun there by trying it out in the very different environment of Madison Park. She tells us that the wine-and-beer thing has gone over very well at Olive Way, and Starbucks is pleased with the way people have responded to the new options and to the completely revamped space.
The remodeling of the Madison Park store will take place over the next two months, with construction scheduled to begin as early as late February, according to Krum. The store will be open during the remodeling, so patrons will get to watch the progress. There is almost no structural work involved, says Krum, who adds that some of the construction will be done at night. However, as it looks now, the Community Room will probably have to be closed during all or part of the construction period.
Starbucks has set up an easel in the store showing some design concepts and finishes, for those interested. There will also be a formal presentation of the remodeling plans for the new store and a chance to ask questions of the Starbucks design team on Wednesday, February 16 at 5:30 pm. New store manager Andrew Nix, who begins his assignment this week, will be present. Those who plan to attend are requested to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.