All good things must come to an end. Vacations… coffee breaks… Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton’s friendship… and — sadly — this season’s Starbucks Treat Receipt. I almost wonder if it would be more profitable for Starbucks to keep the Treat Receipt program around year-round, but I assume their marketing team has already looked into that and decided against it. It’s kind of like the Disney Vault… if those movies were available all of the time, no one would be buying them.
I decided to enjoy my last $2 iced beverage at a Starbucks in the Upper East Side on the corner of 78th and Lexington. To further treat myself, I decided to make it a iced white chocolate mocha, which — if you’ve had one — you know they are to die for.
This Starbucks is directly on the corner and extends down Lexington for quite a distance. There are numerous bar stools placed up against the avenue facing windows and an additional seating area with a long sofa, two tables-for-two and a communal table at one end of the store. There are two entrances, one restroom and plenty of uncovered power outlets. The environment is very chill and relaxed — lots of laptops, books and a few families.
I’ve been monitoring the arrival of the Starbucks on the corner of 63rd & Lexington as a botanist would study the budding of a new exotic plant.
The first signs of life appeared when the ever-popular “STARBUCKS COFFEE” lettering appeared over top the vacant shop. Then the windows were covered with construction paper as the inside of this building began to transform from whatever it once held into the most well-known coffee house in the world. I must admit, it took longer than I thought it would. You hear of Starbucks “popping” up here and there, but this was much more of a slow growth. Then, just a few days ago, the doors finally opened for business.
I knew I had to visit this location within a week of its opening. Would it be different than the others? More modern? Technologically advanced? Would there be any kinks to work out? What goes into designing one Starbucks from the next?
Now that I’m here, it’s obvious that no great changes have been initiated for Starbucks’ latest fleet of openings. They’re not trying to reinvent a fully functional wheel here on 63rd and Lex. While the decor is nice (grey wood tones accented with silver chairs and stools) and the whole building seems to glisten with newness, it’s not another generation of Starbucks. Pretty soon, I’d imagine it will look similar to all the others in the city.
The one unique feature that I’ve yet to see at another location is its window seating. Most locations have a short bar attached to the windows accompanied by raised stools. This Starbucks has two padded seating cubbies nearly the size of a mattress. These are raised about 2 ft above the floor and are on either corner of the entrance. I’m sitting cross-legged in one now, and I must admit it’s quiet comfortable and comes with a childlike sense of amusement. I’d love to see more of these at other Starbucks.
I hate to start the month off with anything less than the best, but today’s Upper East Side Starbucks was anything but impressive.
This is the second location in a week that I have been unable to connect to WiFi. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke or something. Now I will admit that I have had previous encounters with this location and been able to access WiFi just fine. They were obviously having an issue today. Maybe that’s why it was pretty vacant when usually it contains quite the crowd.
Still… in today’s age having a Starbucks without WiFi (even for a moment) is like living on the 10th floor without an elevator. You don’t need it, but you really really want it.