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New Eco-Friendly Starbucks Design Leaves No Room For Tables Nor Chairs

Elysia Rodriguez |
October 18, 2012 | 10:58 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer


Starbucks logo photographed by Marco Paköeningrat. (marcopako  / Flickr)
Starbucks logo photographed by Marco Paköeningrat. (marcopako  / Flickr)
The first in a series of unique, compact and eco-friendly Starbucks locations recently opened up for business in Denver, CO.

The tiny 500 square-foot store only has enough space inside for three to five workers, plus the equipment necessary to create Starbucks’ full menu. There is no lounging area for customers to sip their coffee. Instead, the model only allows drive-thru and walk-up services. 

The Denver coffeehouse is the first in a series of Starbucks locations, part of a pilot program that brings together the ideas of “the environment, localism, market growth, low-cost, low-risk expandability.”

Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores, these new Starbucks designs will be built in factories and carried by truck to their actual locations. Although they will have a uniform interior design, they will each have a unique façade. Materials used will be sourced within a 500-mile-radius. As senior concept design manager Anthony Perez said, “we want the materials on that exterior to feel like it’s part of the local environment”.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a program that rates a building’s sustainability and environmental impact, will certify all stores involved in the new project. This effort to create eco-friendly stores is a part of Starbucks’ Shared Planet plan which focuses on “ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement.”

The new locations will be more than just a place to get a cup of coffee. Perez has said that he wants passing drivers to spot the small stores and “ask, ‘What is that?,’ only to conclude that, oh, ‘it’s art.’” 

This aspiration towards art can be seen in the morning “lantern effect” the Denver store has, as light streams through the walk-up window and illuminates the building made from old Wyoming snow fencing. 

Starbucks has previously been known to create uniquely artistic locations. The sustainable store in Tukwila, WA was the company’s first LEED-certified store and was made with reclaimed shipping containers earlier this year. 

Starbucks has yet to release more locations of their new compact coffeehouses, but customers in Colorado will surely be in for a unique experience. 


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