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First Look: Roy Street Coffee and Tea – UPDATE

It’s a 6 AM Wednesday morning debut for the latest Starbucks creation on Capitol Hill. We’ll have additional coverage this morning but wanted you to get a look inside. What do you think of the new place?

Roy Street Barrista


Chairs reused from somewhere











Busy morning opening day

Interesting lighting is a must









CHS didn’t attend the pre-launch media event on Tuesday night but we did get a few shots from other folks on the outside. Thanks to Aaron Brethorst for sharing this picture via Twitter .

Photo: Aaron Brethorst

And thanks to for a shot from the inside at the preview.

Photo: Starbucks Melody (with permission)

Over on the article where we first posted the announcement that Roy St. Coffee and Tea was opening on Wednesday, there’s a debate, um, brewing about the good and bad of corporate coffee and indie-styling . CHS goes back and forth between hostility and ignorance about Starbucks’ ‘Street Level Coffee’ efforts. But the company seems to court the controversy with images like this:

Roy Street Coffee & Tea
, originally uploaded by SlayerSeattle.
According to the person who posted the photo, the man is removing the ‘Inspired by Starbucks’ portion of the logo.
Are we suckers for doing anything more for writing that they exist? Dunno. But CHS was there Wednesday morning to check out the scene. More soon.
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10 thoughts on “First Look: Roy Street Coffee and Tea – UPDATE

  1. Companies large and small (independents as well) change, modify, get rid of, and add new brands all the time.

    If you don’t like the business, don’t give it your money. There are enough people that will enjoy the new places to make up for all of the indie/hipster complainers.

    Instead of complaining, keep buying your coffee at the independent shops where the aloof employees don’t know how to be polite and have some basic mannners.

  2. I really value having a place to anonymously purchase a cup of coffee or tea at a business not overly stylized or the whole event not being an “event.” Though I don’t buy Starbucks espresso drinks because they taste like ass I enjoy their brewed coffee and tea and have purchased it regularly in between appointments or otherwise on the move. I think of Starbucks as one of the many capitalist equivalents to a socialist model in that it is very utilitarian, homogenized and without much character. These new “neighborhood” places destroy what it was I valued in Starbucks by adding all this “character” and co-opting the style of their independent competition. I haven’t been in to the 15th avenue store since the switch because it seems far too complex, insincerely earnest and quite possibly fraught with the human entanglements I use corporate entities to avoid.

  3. Yes, we get the meme by now.

    “Your dollar is your vote and btw, since there are more tools and image-chasers out there than people who like coffee that doesn’t taste like absolute crap, un-Starbucks will still make megaprofit. It will still be the Randian monolith that my teenaged ego worships and there’s nothing you can do about it, hipsters!”

  4. I believe “fraught with the human entanglements I use corporate entities to avoid” has the makings of a great indie business slogan.

  5. Is he removing it, or is he applying it? Because when I was there (10 minutes ago) it’s prominently displayed on the window, as well as on the stamp on my to-go cup. (My caramel-sauce latte and bleu cheese/mushroom croissant were both delicious, btw.)

    Frankly, I really like the new place. Vivace is my first love, but it’s always SO crowded that I can never find a place to sit, and all the hard surfaces echo like nothing else. Roy St looks like it’s large enough and has enough seating/table space that I should be able to camp out with my laptop and write papers when I don’t want to be sitting at home by myself.

  6. I don’t go to the one on 15th, and I won’t be going to this one, even though it’s quite close to my place. There were so many ways Starbuck’s could have handled the “I have lost my soul” problem that could have repaired their bottom line and done some actual good in the world, but they stalked the little guys for two months, copied them slavishly, and are now grabbing margin instead. Why aren’t they redoing their branch at SODO, in their corporate headquarters building, if they are so sure that soulful decor is their problem?

  7. Most businesses are about grabbing margin or they wouldn’t be in business. Most independent coffee houses would not locate themselves within a couple of blocks of another one if they didn’t intend to grab margin.

    Most of these independent shops want to maximize their profits by overcharging you for coffee. I don’t know why you think they are any different than Starbucks. Starbucks has just been better at it. And of course the Capitol Hill hipsters shun anything that gets successful.

  8. Christ oh Christ – as my father might say.

    One issue – is the coffee decent? if so, buy it an move on.

    Such vapid lives to even be into all this clap trap. It is coffee for Christ’s sake. Tons of money made selling coffee, this town is the MOTHER LODE for coffee vendors. Chose one, drink the product and move to a more substantial issue, like ending poverty … after your buzz gets on from the caffeine.