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Starbucks goes after Echo Park coffee connoisseurs with its new Reserve coffee bar

Echo Park Starbucks Reserve

Crews working on the new Echo Park Starbucks Reserve

By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ

ECHO PARK — Starbucks is returning to Echo Park next month. But former patrons will discover that the new Starbucks, like the neighborhood, has gone upscale.

The old Starbucks, which closed nearly two years ago, operated inside a Lucy’s laundromat, where the aroma of Italian roast was overpowered by the odor of detergent and fabric softener. The fancy new Starbucks — called Starbucks Reserve — will be located in the same Sunset Boulevard building, which has been gutted, renovated, painted jet black and leased to a batch of new tenants that don’t include a coin laundry.

The Echo Park Starbucks Reserve will feature high ceilings, walls of glass and a corner spot next to a patio. It will be the third Starbucks Reserve to open in L.A. area, where a store opened in Los Feliz last year.

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So what will be so special about this new Starbucks Reserve?

In addition to the chain’s core menu – such as a cup of Pike Place Roast, the Echo Park store will also cater to coffee connoisseurs with a separate “immersive” coffee bar featuring a variety of brewing methods and equipment, including a siphon coffee maker, Clover coffee machines, Black Eagle manual espresso maker, and Nitro Cold Brew taps.

In other Reserve stores, which tend to be larger and more lounge-like than a typical Starbucks, customers can order a $10 coffee flight to sample small-batch brews or a $9 Nitro cold brew with cream.

“Inspired by our Seattle Reserve Roastery, Starbucks has begun opening new locations that include an immersive Reserve experience bar (roughly 35 exist today in the U.S.), “ said a Starbucks spokesperson in an email. “ (It’s) designed to take the company’s special Reserve coffee and make it into an interactive aspect of these stores where barista craft is the cornerstone.”

In addition, these stores will offer specialty beverages from the company’s Seattle roastery, such as the affogato menu, which features artisan ice cream paired with our small-lot Reserve coffees.

Since the old Echo Park Starbucks closed, the neighborhood’s coffee scene has grown even more crowded with shops serving up high-end brews.

Will the new shops siphon off customers from other shops? Stay tuned.

Starbucks Reserve will be at 2134 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park

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7 comments

  1. Because this neighborhood needs more coffee.. Can we please get a deli, a bodega, a butcher shop, fish market, fried chicken place, anything other than another coffee shop or Asian cuisine based restaurant. Amen to Freedmans for bringing something different!

    • When you say Asian cuisine based restaurant, I can think of Xoia, It’s Thai, Combo A, and Tsubaki – each a different type of cuisine. What we have enough of is overpriced trendy food with no real focus. Poophead, I say we just need more interesting, affordable food options, Asian or non-Asian! I would love to have a bakery like 85°C or Porto’s, or a take out place like Shin Sen Gumi 2 Go.

  2. no one is going to be able to get in that place unless they park a mile away and walk. 22 store fronts. 40 parking spaces. 22 RESTAURANTS … 40 parking spaces. Its going to cluster F traffic in the entire neighborhood and be more of a hassle to go into than its worth. Remember when the mayors office wouldn’t let developers put that kind of traffic impediment 100 feet from the busiest intersection for 2-3 miles in either direction?!

  3. The market will decide if this is one coffee place too many, but there is an upside. Starbucks is the least expensive premium coffee retailer and that will have an impact on all the other premium coffee places that are also chains. I live in Los Feliz and I’m hoping the new huge Starbucks on Hillhurst forces out the other premium coffee chains that are more expensive and make room for other businesses. Of course I’m also hoping those new businesses aren’t premium ice cream places.

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