Opening Tuesday in the Chinese city is Starbucks’ second Reserve Roastery, a “megastore” that is more of a mecca for coffee lovers than a traditional cafe.
The locations, which feature small-batch roastings of rare and exotic coffees, are under the careful watch of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Schultz stepped down from his post in April to focus on those coffee bars and remained on as the company’s executive chairman.
It is Starbucks’ hope that the Roastery locations will become destinations for coffee drinkers rather than just a place to stop while you’re at the mall. That’s especially the goal as more customers swap their spending to online stores and visit brick-and-mortar shops less often.
The company has even enlisted the help of e-commerce giant Alibaba to create an augmented reality experience within the Roastery.
The company’s flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in its home market of Seattle in 2014. Starbucks has said it could open as many as 20 to 30 Roastery stores around the world.
The Shanghai location is just one of five Roasteries expected to open before 2020. Roasteries are currently slated to open in Milan and New York in 2018 and in Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.