- Sarah Blaskovich, GuideLive

No Starbucks in Texas will operate like the new coffee shop under construction at the McKinney & Olive building in Uptown Dallas. Not immediately, anyway.

It’s going to be a Starbucks Reserve bar, a newish coffee spinoff in the Seattle-based Starbucks brand that will serve small lot, reserve coffees. Customers are likely to find coffee brewed by Chemex, nitro cold brew and more.

Coffee geekery will be very much allowed at this new Starbucks Reserve bar.

This shop will also be a “normal” Starbucks, with a Starbucks Reserve bar inside it. So, anyone who wants a tall Pike Place or a grande caramel macchiato — popular drinks at the 25,000 Starbucks stores worldwide — can still get one. Customers can also order “up-level brewing techniques, reserve coffees and all the specialty beverages like the Melrose — our play on the classic Manhattan using cold brew,” says Holly Hart Shafer, a Starbucks spokeswoman.

A Starbucks Reserve is also expected to open at some point in Plano at the Legacy West development, The Dallas Morning News‘ Steve Brown reports.

Starbucks Reserves were inspired by the Roastery in Seattle, an innovation lab opened in 2014 where customers can experience the “theater and fun” behind some of the brand’s premium brews, Shafer explains. Starbucks Reserve bars are expected to make $3 million a year in sales, Business Insider says. That’s twice what traditional Starbucks stores make. The company reports that 20 percent of Starbucks stores will have Reserve bars by 2021.

The Uptown Dallas Starbucks Reserve bar, if it opens as expected in late June or early July, is likely to be Texas’ first. (Take that, Austin!) Starbucks operates about two dozen Starbucks Reserve bars right now in major metro areas like Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington.

“We’re seeing people ordering things they never tried before,” Shafer explains. Her hope is that the atmosphere at the Uptown Dallas Starbucks Reserve encourages people to learn more about coffee and try new items — especially specialty drinks not available “anywhere else in Texas,” she says.

(And there are “a lot” of those drinks, she says.)

This Starbucks will not have a special menu; it’ll sell the same food as at other existing Starbucks in the Dallas area. It also will not sell beer and wine.

While independent coffee shops in Dallas and beyond are finding a niche with customers who want to drink high-end coffee that isn’t mass-produced, Starbucks is attempting to get some of that market share in this “super-premium coffee war” by offering a small-batch experience that can be scaled across the country — and possibly the world.

In a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story called “Is ‘Reserve’ the new face of Starbucks?” its author writes, “There’s little doubt that [chairman and CEO Howard Schultz’s] vision of the future of Starbucks is very much aligned with the more upscale products.”

Uptown Dallas, with its abundance of steakhouses and high-dollar apartments, seems like a place where “upscale” might thrive.

It’s too early to know what will be on the coffee menu at the Starbucks Reserve bar in Dallas, what drinks will cost or what the interior of the shop will look like.

Perk up, y’all; I’ll have much more info to come.

The Starbucks Reserve bar in Uptown is expected to open in the McKinney & Olive high-rise at 2021 McKinney Ave., Dallas, in summer 2017.


Starbucks Reserve bars serve the Seattle company’s hard-to-get coffees. We don’t yet know what the Uptown Dallas shop will look like. Pictured here: a Starbucks Reserve bar in New York.
photo: Starbucks/Matt Glac