On our visit, CHS found some nostalgic chalkboard messaging and huge “for lease” posters in the windows. The rumor mill for what comes next has been pretty quiet and permit activity doesn’t yield any clues.
“As part of Starbucks standard course of business, we continually evaluate our business to ensure a healthy store portfolio,” the company told CHS. “After careful consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the store on Roy Street.”
Starbucks has said employees will have “the opportunity to transfer” to other locations in Seattle.
CHS broke the news in February that the last of the SBUX indie-styled cafes was being shut down leaving the huge cafe space on the north end of Broadway empty. The 700 Broadway building, one of the neighborhood’s most controversial and, some say, ugly developments now needs a new tenant, or two.
Roy Street debuted in 2009 as part of a pair of new Capitol Hill cafes that looked, felt, and in some ways operated like the independent cafes the new joints were designed to mimic. The 15th Ave Coffee and Tea part of the experiment didn’t last as long it was converted back to a standard Starbucks in 2011 and is today a Full Tilt ice cream shop.
Instead of the “indie” path, Starbucks zigged on the zag. In late 2014, the company opened its first Starbucks Reserve Roastery at the base of Capitol Hill. It has since built new “roastery” locations around the world and extended the concept into its global offerings as a new, upscale brand.
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