What I wouldn’t give to see New York City in its early days — I’m talking 18th or 19th Century. And today my adventure took me to a Starbucks location that has been a coffee house for over 200 years.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Starbucks on the corner of Thames and Broadway in downtown Manhattan. From the exterior architecture alone, I could tell I was going to like this Starbucks. It looked anything but typical, and when I walked inside I got an eyeful of New York themed artwork, dark wood paneling and crowded tables for two. I also spotted this large peculiar box that I soon realized was an elevator for the disabled to access the barista bar, which is a few steps elevated from the seating area — thanks American with Disabilities Act!
Once I ordered my drink, I came across a large painting on the far back wall of the Starbucks (above). Depicted is what looks like a cafe during colonial times, and it was labeled Burns Coffee House: 1763. Of course, I did my research and found out that this Starbucks is in the very spot that Burns once stood. It makes me wonder how a coffee house operated in the 1700s. I doubt they had iced coffee.
So despite the fact that this Starbucks is sort of small, kind of dark, and has no public restroom, I’m giving it a 4-Cup rating because of it’s history and uniqueness.
The Decor… Beautiful gothic exterior, antiquated furnishings, historic paintings (even if they’re fakes), and dark wood paneling.
The Design… The small seating area is in the front and the bar is slightly elevated beyond it with another entrance into the adjacent office building.
The Location… In a gorgeous part of FiDi and near plenty of trains.
The Crowd… Very crowded — but maybe that’s because it’s such a unique Starbucks.
The Restroom… None.
Drink of Choice:
Grande Iced Coffee.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
A unique and historic Starbucks in downtown Manhattan.