Thursday, May 12, 2011

Starbucks revamp complete

It's taken a bit longer than expected, and its roll-out will not prove much of a surprise to those patrons who've been watching the progress of construction over the past few months, but Starbucks officially unveils the new Madison Park store today. 

More importantly for some, the transformed Starbucks will now be serving wine and beer each weekday beginning at 2 pm (noon on the weekends).  We're told that some new menu items will be making their debut in conjunction with the alcohol service.

The new space has polished concrete floors, lots of wood and tile, and more, though seemingly less cushy, seating.  The meeting area has been reconfigured, and there's also a new bar.  The space appears to be more effectively organized, and the feel is definitely brighter than it was.  The fireplace remains intact.

While the physical transformation of the Madison Park Starbucks is certainly a done deal, the menu changes now underway are still theoretically experimental.  As we reported before construction began in March, corporate headquarters is trying to determine whether the introduction of wine and beer in a neighborhood like Madison Park will be as successful as it has proven to be on Capitol Hill.  So in some slight sense, perhaps, Starbucks patrons here who decide to imbibe (or not) can consider themselves guinea pigs sacrificing themselves for a higher cause.

[Starbucks is located at 4000 E. Madison Street.]


  1. Who did the art?

  2. I worked at Starbucks as store designer for a few years! And that too with the designer on this store. But it concerns me that they are now starting to serve beer and wine and clearly wandering away from their original intent on which the coffee store was created - to "recreate the Italian coffee drinking experience" which had so impressed Howard Schulz on his trip to Italy years ago! Clearly the beer and wine are money making incentives!!!! They're starting to behave like any big corporation. But, I will say this - the years I worked there were the best years of my "working" career...

  3. Oh, goody!!! Now I NEVER have to go home!!!!!

  4. Love the remodeled floor plan but not a fan of the dark bathrooms. Overall they managed to do a nice job of having intimate spaces sprinkled throughout the expansion. I kind of wish they would hold off on alcohol service until later in the afternoon say 5pm or limit the alcohol service to a specific area so that all the tutoring of students is done in a more secure environment.

  5. As regards to Starbucks in Madison Park I have been a regular there for over ten years.

    I do not make these observations to be critical but merely to offer my opinion and to suggest improvements.

    The tall tables are far too small in diameter for four people to sit at comfortably. They need to be increased in size to be at least as large as the previous tables which everyone liked. Why did they take them out?

    The concrete floor is far too industrial and reflects sound so it makes it inordinately noisy inside. They need to put in commercial grade carpeting all along the perimeter for at least 20 feet extending from all walls. This will make it much quieter and much more comfortable. They can keep a portable carpet cleaner on hand to clean any spills at night. Get dark grey carpet like the floor is now and it won't show much anyway.

    I like the pads on the new chairs. I do not like the small stools and they are too low down and are not comfortable and they have no back on them.

    The lighting has always been too dim and it's still far to dark inside to read adequately. Put in more lights above all the tables. Lighting is very inexpensive as an upgrade and improvement for the customers.

    I like the outdoor tables and chairs.

    The staff is great and that's one of the real assets of the Madison Park Starbucks.


    Steve Waszak, MD

  6. The Cafe Starbucks, at this same location in 1998, had beer and wine as well as full food service. I worked there as a barista and a waiter. I find it funny Starbucks is trying to figure out if beer will catch on in MP. People loved it then. Howard Schultz lives about 4 blocks away and came into the cafe everyday to see the progress of the idea. It didn't turn out well and they abandoned the cafe idea. I do remember a fair number of people coming for a glass of wine or a Pyramid though. Seemed like a great idea then.


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