A brand new Clover Starbucks opens today in downtown Seattle at 4th and Union.

Today (September 9, 2011) marks the grand opening of an all new Starbucks in downtown Seattle.  It is a Clover store, and is located on the corner of 4th and Union.  It opened at 5:00 a.m. and I managed to be the first customer in the door!  This block has some interesting Seattle history.  Once upon a time, the White-Henry-Stuart Building stood here.  In 1974, it was demolished for the construction of the Rainier Tower which  is now on this block.  I have a previous blog post here which has a section about this Seattle history.

I had walked past the store several times as it was under construction too.  The address of this new store is as follows:

Starbucks store #15625
1418 – Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682 1139


On August 30, 2011, I snapped this photo:

And then on September 2, 2011, again walking by this store, I took a couple of photos with my phone of the locked store under construction.

At 5:00 a.m. this morning, here’s what the exterior of the store looked like:

I snapped a number of photos inside the store, though the earliest photos before the sun is up all look a little dark.  I stayed for quite a while in the store chatting with people I knew.  One partner transferred to that store from a store that I frequently visit, and the District Manager was there too.  I started my day with an oatmeal and a tall Honduras Premier from the Clover.  This store is not fantastically huge, but it’s in a very central downtown location, and it is a well-thought out space!  I met a ton of new people.  All the partners seemed very friendly!

Here are a few pics to enjoy!  (I took all the photos below today, September 9, 2011, between about 5:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.)

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  • denise r

    wow! very pretty store. and chalk art in that top pic..of the siren. I am really loving the rich colors Sbux seems to be using alot lately…. the walls, all of it.
    I like the pics of peering in the windows, too…at the empty store.

    Thanx for sharing another visit Melody.

  • purple1

    I enjoyed seeing the pics over that time frame Melody from construction to finished look. What again a nice welcoming store! I wish there were more stores like this around here. My local SB looks so tired compared to this and the other new stores.

  • elly

    melody, do you know if this one is utilizing the more environmentally friendly practices in the fixtures and so on like 15th and roy and olive, as well? it looks like it. i’m really liking the more rustic-y feel on the newer stores out here :)

  • PBE


    All of the renovations from her forward are using sustainable building practices – low voltage lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures, low voc paints, reclaimed
    materials, etc.
    All of the new stores (4th + Main) are LEED certified stores.

    You can read more about the sustainable building practices in the Shared Planet section
    on the Starbucks website

  • Melody

    @PBE – Thank you for your help!

    I really think I could have gotten some better photos! I was distracted by visiting with someone there, and it was too dark at 5 am. I may go back soon and take some more and update this blog post.

  • PBE

    No problem, Melody!!
    As a store designer at Starbucks it is great that you have taken such an interest, and do such a great job, showcasing our stores.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  • CD

    I finally have Internet and looks like I have a lot of catching up to do…

    Starbucks has really stepped up their store design – not so cookie cutter, bringing in local elements and still feels like a Starbucks. I was in the closest Starbucks to me the other day and they have a table made from wood recovered from a 100 year old barn in the state. The trees that were used to build the barn, and later the table, date back to when Christopher Columbus was on his explorations. Very cool. Don’t know many big companies that would commission a table like that much less make an effort to tell the story to their customers.

  • Blakeco123

    so I don’t get it, can a store be upgraded to clover machines, or do they have to be built with them?

  • Melody

    @Blake – Old stores can get Clover brewers but it’s a process. The store has to have a certain level of brewed coffee/bean sales I think, and must have the right layout, and be able to be plumbed for the Clover brewer. Off the record, I’ve heard that Starbucks is slowly adding Clovers to stores that are a fit, and as they get their “major remodel.” If a store is going to be totally remodeled, that when they add the Clover. Only a small percentage of stores get a Clover, whether new, or remodeled. There are about 16k Starbucks world wide, and probably 225 Clover stores, so each and every one is lucky to have one!

  • blakeco123

    Thank you, that answers all my questions about it.

  • LatteRose

    I really like the look of this store (ok, maybe not so much that pair of metal chairs with the holes in them). Nice to see the chalk art.
    (@CD – interesting to hear about the table!)

  • Karl Dahlquist

    I can’t tell you how long I looked at Rainier Tower in my teens and wondered how that building never tipped over. You need to have people google Rainier Tower to check that out!

    I also laughed when I put the address in the Starbucks locator, and saw the 5 surrounding locations on the Bing aerial photo.

    How many DMs are there in Downtown Seattle? Isn’t there usually one DM per 10 stores?

    Also, the original location of the University of Washington was in that area downtown…and they still own a lot of the property.


  • Melody

    @KarlDahlquist – You’re right, that property is still owned by the University of Washington. In fact, I’ve heard that at some point Rainier Tower will be torn down (bye bye this Starbucks) to build something even more grand, but it must not be soon enough to be an issue for putting in a new Starbucks. I just looked at the wikipedia entry for the Rainier Tower, and I didn’t realize before that it was designed by the same person who designed the WTC in NYC. And Karl, I think the Rainier Tower looks creepy! The way it is designed, it really does look like it should fall over!

    There are 3 downtown DMs. One DM has a bunch of stores in the area near the courts, and her area includes the three SODO area stores (1st & Walker, Sodo Lobby, and Soddy 8). That sounds about right – There could be 30 stores in that area. One DMs area extends a little bit in South Lake Union. All of it is walkable. Well, mostly so. It would be a LOT of walking to walk from the area near the courts to the SODO area, and most people would drive or take Link Light Rail. It’s not that walkable. But it is still not like DMs in places like Eureka, California that might go miles and miles and miles and miles before they get to their next store.

    There are definitely at least 5 Starbucks within an easy walk of this 4th and Union Starbucks. There is 6th and Union, the small City Center hallway store pretty much in the same building as the 6th and Union Starbucks, and there is Puget Sound Plaza across the Street, and Fourth and Seneca, and 3rd and Pike would be a short walk too. Well, for that matter, Westlake Center, and 7th and Pike would be a short walk too. Karl I live in a sea of Starbucks! 😉

  • Mickey

    Hey Melody! This is a great post, introducing a new Starbucks in the neighborhood — I like that you included the previous, under-construction photos :-) One of the shifts there, Jenni, used to work at my current store. She is awesome, and I hope that you get a chance to meet her!

  • Melody

    Hi Mickey! Good to see you! I need to come by your store again soon! I will keep my eye out for Jenni.

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