As a New Yorker I’m always on the go, especially as I run my own business and often have meetings in multiple neighborhoods across the city in any given day. This means I’m continually on the hunt for places to meet both friends and clients that offer a stylish, memorable and practical environment in which to work or relax. Earlier this week I found the perfect spot to do both of these things. I was invited to partner with Starbucks to tour their new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district ahead of the grand opening today. As a lover of both coffee and design I was excited to explore the space. The fact it’s solved one of my day-to-day problems – a shortage of cool spaces in the city that are flexible enough to take a meeting or meet for cocktails with a friend – is a massive added bonus.The Roastery design was inspired by the history of manufacturing in the neighborhood and it feels akin to what one would expect the Willy Wonka Coffee Factory would look and feel like. It’s a real manufacturing space where Starbucks roasts rare and exclusive Reserve coffee. In a way it’s like the theatre of coffee: grain sack coffee bags are cut open by hand as beans pour down into copper chutes below; overhead coffee beans fly through clear pipes to a series of stylish copper and glass vessels ready to be freshly ground and brewed.When you walk through the main entrance of the Roastery straight ahead you see a 30-foot tall copper cask. It’s like the beating heart of the whole experience and holds freshly roasted coffee that needs to rest before being used in beverages. The copper cask was fabricated and installed by A. Zahner, an internationally acclaimed engineering and fabrication company best known for the use of metal in the world of art and architecture. I like how the copper details used in small applications elsewhere across the Roastery serve as a red thread that pulls the whole space together. Affectionately referred to as ’The Kettle’ the copper cast can be seen from all parts of the space, allowing the coffee roasting process – and the theatre the comes with it – to take center stage as you explore.I really admired how the space is designed with immersive and interactive elements to bring you closer to the craft of coffee, from roasting to brewing. You can tell that each aspect of the space was chosen with intention, handcrafted to reflect the journey of coffee. As the Roastery is set over a series of different levels it has a feeling of discovery to it as you wonder the space. This old railway-style sign by Italian firm Solari, who have been making them since the 50’s, was one of my favorite details; you hear the display cycling through to show what’s currently being roasted, and it just adds to the overall sensory experience.The ceiling was designed to give the effect of an undulating ocean. Each ceiling square is laced with copper lighting and acoustic features to give off a liveliness in the ceiling. I love how the warmth of copper is reflected everywhere, too. Even though there’s a variety of different spaces within the Roastery, from the Arriviamo and main bar to the Milanese boutique bakery, Princi, the thoughtful design details keep it feeling synergized.The Roastery is staffed by 280 partners and there’s an extensive menu that includes an array of coffee and tea selections, in addition to Italian pastries, pizza al taglio, aperitivo and other specialties by Milan baker Rocco Princi. I tasted many of them during my tour and they were delicious! Pro-tip: try the hazelnut cornetti. I’m excited to go back in the evening with my heartmate and get cozy in the Arriviamo Bar, which is a high-end mixology experience serving coffee-and-tea inspired cocktails. Who wants to join us?!During the tour I had the opportunity to try several of the exclusive specialty espresso beverages you can order at the Roastery or enjoy as part of a coffee flight. My favorite was the Pantheon coffee, a Starbucks Reserve blend that’s available only at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries. Definitely add this to your list to try – the velvety smooth, subtle chocolatey taste is so good!Each Roastery features a Starbucks siren; the one at the NYC location is 10 ft tall and made of cast copper. Starbucks worked with local Brooklyn artist, Max Steiner, to create this siren that looks as though it’s emerging from the water. I really liked the geometric, faceted look of it. It makes a great Insta. spot, so go snap a cute photo there when you explore the space!The passion of Jill Enomoto, VP of Roastery Design and a 10-year partner at the brand, as she proudly toured me around the space was infectious. She explained that their aim was to create “a happy space that offered an immersive, inspirational and unique experience.” Well, Jill and her team certainly achieved that – much of the furniture is exclusive to the store for at least two years and the attention to detail is clear to see. Even the wall covering along one of the staircases was designed in collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist, Callidus Guild. It has an ombre effect from light to dark with flecks of copper and it was designed to represent the roasting of the coffee. The good news is you can experience the space for yourself as the Roastery is now open at 61 9th Ave. And why not high five one of their friendly and knowledgeable partners while you are there!// Photography by Jean Laurent Gaudy for Bright.Bazaar | This post was brought to you in partnership with Starbucks; thank you for supporting our partners who make our content possible.
Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.