CHICAGO (CBS) — You could call it the ritziest shopping area west of Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan – and on Friday morning, the Magnificent Mile adds the world’s largest Starbucks.
The new Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery stands where Crate & Barrel stood tall for nearly 30 years. CBS 2’s Yasmeen Hassan talked with Crate & Barrel’s founder and a real estate expert about how the Mag Mile keeps evolving.
“There’s really no other boulevard in the Midwest that attracts this many people; is as interesting for retail and experiences, as this street is,” said Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal.
There is a reason Michigan Avenue is called the Magnificent Mile, as real estate developer Arthur Rubloff christened it shortly after the Second World War.
“It’s a very spatial street; beautiful, especially in the spring, summer, and fall, with all the flowers down the midway,” Segal said.
We’re seeing that now, with Starbucks taking over the space at 646 N. Michigan Ave. with a new focus.
“You can go there for wine, you can go there to visit, you can there just to sit and people watch – but you can also go there for a first-class coffee experience,” said Greg Bayer of Mid-America Real Estate.
Now, stores are creating an experience. It’s transforming the way people shop and the landscape of Michigan Avenue.
“It’s not just about selling product,” Segal said. “It’s about creating an atmosphere, with music and sound and coffee beans going through shoots and everything.”
“Sometimes you have to reinvent, you have to evolve, and you have to continue to attract a younger customer or different taste in preference,” added Bayer.
The new Starbucks Roastery is set to open at 7 a.m.