As of right now, I can officially say that I have observed the major universities in New York City through the lens of the Starbucks that serve them.
Way back in March I visited the Starbucks that serves New York University — where I’m currently attending grad school. Last month I made it all the up to Columbia University and down south to Pace University. And just today I paid a visit to the Starbucks inside of the Fashion Institute of Technology — aka FIT.
Like with NYU and Pace, this is a licensed store that is owned by a company other than Starbucks. In this case, it’s owned by Aramark — which seems to be the number one food supplier to college campuses. Even the Florida State University Starbucks was Aramark. But unlike NYU’s Aramark Starbucks, this one resembles Pace more in the fact that you really must be a student to gain access. In other words, both the FIT and Pace Starbucks are located inside the university cafeterias which are both within campus security. Obviously, this isn’t TSA or anything, but they may give you a hard time if you try to get into the campus simply to get a coffee.
Luckily I’m persuasive.
A big difference between this Starbucks and the one at Pace is that this store actually has its own distinctive walls and bar stools. It even offers several power outlets for students to plug in, work, and pretend they aren’t in a college cafeteria.
When all is said and done — of all the NYC university Starbucks — my favorite must be NYU’s. Am I biased? Maybe. But it also is the largest, the biggest, and is open to the public.
The Convenience… Perfect if you’re an FIT student. You grab your meal and your favorite caffeinated beverage all in the same place.
The Seating… Unlike the Pace University Starbucks, this one actually has a small distinct seating area separate from the cafeteria. It’s only a handful of stools up against two walls, but it’s still something.
The Location… Yes, yes. It’s in Chelsea. But it’s also inside a state university that would rather passers-by go somewhere else.
The Size… Sure the cafeteria is large, but if you’re looking for the typical Starbucks ambiance then you’re limited to a small area.
The WiFi… Since this is an Aramark licensed Starbucks, there’s no AT&T or Google WiFi. FIT offers it, but of course you need to be a student.
Drink of Choice:
Grande Iced Red Eye.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
The Starbucks serving the future of the fashion industry.