This Starbucks is amazing. It's located near the University of Texas at Austin, on 24th Street. I visited it as part of pre-planned, scheduled, tour of Austin, Texas Starbucks stores on Sunday, February 20, 2011. On that Sunday, it was the first of the three stores we went to, and so we arrived at about the noon hour. Let's recap the Texas Starbucks this blog has written about: On this Sunday (the 20th), the scheduled stores included this store for its unique local design, a two story Starbucks with solar panels on the drive thru, and a LEED Certified Starbucks. Also on the 19th of the February (Saturday), I visited a Starbucks in Bedford, Texas. By the way, this blog has talked about Starbucks in Texas a couple of times: I know from my analytics that I have a significant Texas readership, and it impresses me how there is so much coffee passion in Texas. In 2009, I wrote a store review of a Starbucks in Southlake, Texas located in the TownSquare shopping plaza (that was a "spontaneous" store visit, and happened to be the store closest to my hotel). In 2009, I also had an absolutely perfect visit to a second Starbucks in Southlake, Texas (called the "White Chapel" Starbucks, though I'm not entirely sure where that store gets its name). The bottom line is that the "Starbucks experience" is alive and well in Texas, well, at least ninety-five percent of the time.
Turning back to Starbucks store 6284, near the University of Texas, every single partner was very friendly. The store was clean, but packed with people. I had a terrible time getting good photos because I didn't want to be featuring customers (any more than incidental customer appearances) in the blog post. It is really a shame but I never got a quality photo of the large community table because it was crowded with customers while I was there. Their community table is totally unique. I've never seen another one like it. Each leg is painted a different color! The table has been carefully designed with the thought that the store's customer base is largely students from University of Texas. There are electric outlets designed into the center of the table.
This store is unique. Starbucks store design gets a huge A+. The framed wall art selections are historic University of Texas photographs, again reinforcing the local element to this store. Take a look at the huge patio. It is amazing. I was stunned to see cushions on outside seating. It must not rain a lot in Austin.
Again, I'm sorry that I don't have better store photos, but the store was packed. And kudos to the partners for somehow maintaining a perfect store even during a rush of customers. By the way, while visiting this store I got to order a Trenta! The Trenta size cup has not yet arrived in Seattle, so this was very exciting for me! LOL. I tried the new black tea, which was okay. I admit that I prefer the "Awake" black tea over the new "classic" black tea. In the photo of my Trenta cup, you really see the personality of this store radiating through. Notice that "Welcome to Austin" is written on the cup, and that the bar barista thought it would be fun to be in the photo. We did a quick mini tasting of Casi Cielo, which is a favorite coffee of mine (one of many favorites!). By the way, the store partners had no way of knowing how much I love Casi Cielo. That was just good luck!
This is a perfect store.
Just as an aside, I know that it might be disconcerting to a Starbucks to have a blogger show up at their store. However in the year 2011, anyone can have a blog, and basically everyone can produce content. This is definitely not the only Starbucks blog out there. And you never know which customers might have larger, more significant blogs. The perfect example of this comes from about one year ago when "Serious Eats" dropped by the First and Pike Starbucks in downtown Seattle. That store had no idea they were coming, but they were on their game, and Serious Eats wrote a lovely review of their experience there. Any customer can be media, and the "beacon" Starbucks stores (Clover stores, LEED Certified Stores, and unique design stores) are going to experience more of this kind of thing than a normal Starbucks.
Enjoy your trip to this Austin, Texas Starbucks! The address, if you want to visit, is as follows:
Starbucks store 6284 504 West 24th Street Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 472 5211