The Westlake Starbucks in Seattle has been around for fourteen years. The assistant store manager who opened up this store on its grand opening day (December 16, 2000) is still a current Starbucks partner. (He's above the store level now). Recently, he wrote to me and attached his personal photos from the store's grand opening, fourteen years ago! I thought what a great opportunity to have a look at this Starbucks in sort of a "then and now" article. This location (Starbucks store #3343, 400 Pine Street in downtown Seattle, 98101) was once a Seattle's Best Coffee before it was converted into a Starbucks. The partner emailed me with the pictures said: "I remember the night before we opened, the architect telling us that he "envisioned a space where a $10 cup of coffee would seem reasonable"…..hence the elaborate floor to ceiling drapes, etc. It was THE flagship store for the company at the time. We were so honored." This Starbucks is still a pretty amazing store. It's extremely busy. I dropped by today and took photos so you can see what it looks like now - this way you'll have a good "then and now" viewpoint. While it no longer has floor to ceiling drapes, it still has an incredible team and you'll have a great experience. The current store manager (Jesse) is very dynamic personality who know what he's doing. Starbucks is lucky to have him! This is at least his third Starbucks as a store manager. By the way, when you visit the Westlake Starbucks, do not expect it to be as quiet as in the photos I took. I had to arrive shortly before 6:00 AM to get photos of the store not packed with customers. This is a very busy store.
Westlake Starbucks in December 2000:
Notice in the photos from 2000 that there was more merchandise back then! I've always been amazed at how Starbucks used to sell just quadruple the merchandise over what's available now.
There really was an era of Starbucks where you'd walk in, and it wouldn't be unusual to see pottery, board games, books, Bearista bears, and more, including a very large array of coffee items, such as several different kinds of brewers, grinders, mugs, and filters.
Also notice that this store was originally designed with a walk-up window. It seems a little amazing to see an exterior condiment bar.
There's yet another Westlake Starbucks photo that I wanted to throw in the mix. I snapped this photo in December 2008, on an old phone as I happened to be walking by. It's the only time that I can recall where I saw the awning to the store decorated. Very cool!
And here are the photos from today's visit to the store. Today is also the annual Pride Parade day in Seattle, and so in honor of the events, the store has a Pride flag hanging over its condiment bar. I included picture of the store's view, facing Pine Street.
Hope you enjoyed the "then and now". What an amazing transformation this store has made over the past fourteen years. But no matter what a store looks like, it's always the great people inside it that bring the Starbucks experience to life.