Excuse the poor quality photo taken from a car, but I had only realised this was something a little quirky after I had walked by it. And I don’t quite understand what’s happening here, because Starbucks were very excited to make Naperville their fourth global location for the grand Reserve store concept. The other three were in Seattle, New York and Shanghai, so it does feel a little odd that they selected what seems to be the quiet backwater of Naperville to open. Although I suspect that Naperville has a fair amount of money and wealthy residents, which seems a likely reason.
Anyway, to great acclaim and excitement this store opened in May 2021. Starbucks released the above photo of their shiny new shop, I think it looks rather lovely and I’m not really someone usually tempted by this brand. Although I’d note that there aren’t enough chairs there, unless there are more out of shot, as Starbucks gets a lot of people taking up one table to use their laptop on and they then camp out there for hours. The quality of the coffee and food is much more decadent than other Starbucks locations, all having a touch of grandness about it.
But, moving forwards, Starbucks shut the store just 14 months later and when we went to Naperville in October 2022 they were going through the process of converting the store back into a normal Starbucks. I’m not sure what went wrong, but reading the alleged comments of staff that customers have written in reviews, the locals just wanted normal lattes and didn’t want to pay for the expensive options that the Reserve store offered them. I note that there was an affogato bar here, it’s a shame that concept wasn’t extended to more Starbucks stores if nothing else….