HIGHLAND PARK — Stung by criticism about the design of its new York Boulevard store, Starbucks officials have pledged to remodel the shop that has been derided as “the most depressing Starbucks in America.”
Highland Park architect Catherine Garrison, who was highly critical of the new store’s design in a review for The Eastsider, met with Bill Sleeth, Starbucks Vice President of Design For The Americas and company spokeswoman Haley P. Drage to hear about the company’s plan to improve the store.
“They wanted to tell me about their plans to redesign the Starbucks,” said Garrison, who met with the Starbucks executives at the Highland Park store on Wednesday morning. “The plans sound good and I think HP will end up with a much better community space as a result.”
The drive-thru Highland Park Starbucks, which is located in the former Classic Burger restaurant, was dinged for lacking an indoor dining room, an awkward layout, inferior building materials, and, according to Garrison, “a tragic pastiche of design” that showed “a lack of respect for the neighborhood.”
How is Starbucks going to fix the Highland Park Starbucks? Garrison provided a summary of the changes:
- Additional storefront windows where customers order which will increase contact with employees. There will be one window to order and another to pick up.
- Relocating and screening the bathroom door
- Removing salvaged windows and installing roll-up doors
- Converting the planter in front to sidewalk seating and creating two pedestrian entrances of the sidewalk.
- Replacing the roll-up metal doors with two large recycled wood doors that slide barn door style.
- Enhancing the side patio experience through a trellis and lighting
Company officials told Garrison they plan to start working on the store soon.