Starbucks launches their 5th beer and wine store – Issaquah Meadows

Starbucks has opened up their 5th store offering beer and wine on the menu after 2:00 p.m.  This  store is in Issaquah, and is an existing store just recently remodeled and relaunched as a Clover location, and a beer and wine location.  By way of a reminder, there are roughly between 200 and 225 stores with a Clover brewer.  Of those roughly 200 stores or so, five of them offer beer and wine in the afternoon and evenings.  The five locations are (1) the Starbucks also known as 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea (2) Olive Way (3) Madison Park (4) Brewery Blocks Starbucks and now the (5) Issaquah Meadows Starbucks.

The Issaquah Meadows Starbucks represents the first beer and wine store in a suburban market.  It’s a café only location in a shopping complex area of Issaquah.  The store follows in the pattern of the newer design style which is intended to be LEED Registered, and has a “repurposed” appearance.  For example, the lighting in the store is almost entirely energy efficient LED and compact fluorescent lamps.  The café table tops are made of wood reclaimed from a gymnasium floor from a high school in King County.  This store has a fireplace!  I always think that’s a great touch for a café Starbucks.  To be honest, I don’t know if the fireplace was there before the remodel or not, but I definitely like it.  It’s a beautiful store, and a must-see location if you’re in the area!

If you want to go visit this store, here’s the address:

Issaquah Meadows Starbucks (Store #3322)
1460 NW Gilman Boulevard
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 427 1890

I had a chance to visit the store, and took the photos below, on September 29, 2011.  The store manager was “Holly” who gladly showed me around her new store!  I met some very enthusiastic partners.  In particular, I felt like I could have spent an hour talking with “Mackenzie” who definitely loves coffee!  One partner mentioned to me that the store just got their Clover on September 23rd.  In case you’re curious, this store first opened brand new June 24, 2000.  Coincidentally,  the other two Starbucks in Issaquah, Eastlake Sammamish and Issaquah Commons,  also got a remodel this year but neither relaunched with Clover, Starbucks Reserve, or beer/wine.

As might be obvious from the photos below, I stopped by a party in celebration of the relaunch and remodel of this store.  I got there really early so I could try and get a few photos before the store was packed with people.  So here are a variety of pictures of this store from my September 29th visit:





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  • kara86ster

    Great store, with all those menus and nice surrounding. Not to forget the fireplace too! But about the logo, is it just available at beer & wine store only, or is it will be on every new store? Love the color… =)

  • Melody

    @Kara – Oh you have a good eye! Yes, the black version of the new logo is reserved only for the few stores that are beer and wine stores!

  • denise r

    It is certainly a beautiful place, altho I have never been a fan about the wine & coffee idea, regadless.
    This IS certainly very nice, even a nice view! Once in while, until I look closely that those are all ‘sofas’, it reminded me a bit of a banquet hall…..a bit. Otherwise, I would say: tons of beauty in this store. really very nice.

  • purple1

    Ok this is getting to be so unfair!!! All the great remodels do not seem to be around here. The store looks so inviting and love the idea of a fireplace! It also seems that the partners here are so invested in their work! I like the idea that they serve beer and wine after 2 pm – feels it gives another dimension to the store. Thanks for the pics!

  • Diele

    The store I am at right now(transferring in 9 days) is having their remodel in January and the manager is fighting for Clover! I doubt they’d bring the Beer and Wine aspect to Arizona.

  • Rachel

    This is a huge store (over 3200sf) and the remodel does a great job of dividing the cafe area into different seating zones. The fireplace was there before, it just received a new stone face. Thanks for the nice review and pictures, Melody. You obviously have fun doing what you do!

  • Melody

    @Diele I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you that you get a Clover! @Rachel – Glad you like it too. I have to say it is incredibly fun doing this. I travel around to stores, talk coffee, socialize, and see beautiful stores, and then take a few pics and write about it – And I meet a lot of nice people along the way. I count that as lucky!

  • purple1

    Melody I would think that one of the best results of doing this blog is meeting all the great people you meet both partners and customers. I think at some point you should hold a get together of people from your blog – on a regional basis! Melody, is this an open post anything starbucks related? I have a question not related to this topic?

  • LatteRose

    Beautiful store!
    Not much into beer & wine myself (interesting name on the menu – “Rogue Dead Guy Ale”).

  • camspi

    Gorgeous! I was thinking, if my store wasn’t a drive thru and was just a cafe, we’d be the perfect place for beer & wine! My city has a lot of little wineries and I know my customers would love it. I’ll call the design team and share some of my ideas to facelift my store to become one of these gorgeous black siren stores. lol.

  • Chgo.

    Another nice looking store! I never believed in the wine and beer concept either for Starbucks, but I’m warming up too the idea a bit. Too bad they will not be testing the idea out here in Chicago any time soon.

    @ Melody – Speaking of this store being a Clover Store……. What’s the story with the Reserve KA’U coming out Wednesday? Is this new, or has it been sold before? I was given a sample early Friday. I wish I could have tried a little more than I was given. I’m not sure what I think of it. What’s your opinion?

  • Jenn McP

    Great pictures, thank you! I have been wondering what it would look like when it was done. A fireplace is the one thing I wish they would have put in my store. They did such a beautiful job on that remodel! Thank you again for always sharing :)

  • Melody

    @JennMcP – Oooh, I can see how a fireplace would’ve been fun at your store – Maybe against that back wall, that is booth seating now. Or in the corner – that wall that is the bike tires wall. ? @CamSpi – Let’s just the SSC folks up right now and instruct them that there is an urgent need for a remodel and Clover in that big state of Texas! 😉

  • Melody

    @Chgo – Great question about the Ka’u! There are a number of times that I manage to at least try a coffee early, but I have not tried the Ka’u at all, and I don’t know what it is like. I am looking forward to it though. Kona is great iced from the Clover, so I am wondering if the Ka’u is too. I need a blog post this month on the new Reserve coffees.
    And who knows! Maybe Chicago will get a beer and wine store!

  • Chgo.

    @ Melody – 3 comments on the coffee from Starbucks are pretty negative. From what I understand, it’s from the same region as Kona, but it isn’t the same. I noticed it doesn’t have as intense a flavor of Kona. It taste’s milder to me. I’m thinking this is going to be an expensive Reserve Coffee on the Clover, just like the Jamaican Blue. I was surprised I was offered a taste at the new Clover store. They sure caught me off guard. I think they are just starting to get to know me at that store. I can’t believe how many different faces work there.

    Sorry I went off topic.

  • Melody

    @Chgo – I never really consider coffee to be off topic. If I didn’t love coffee, not sure I’d have a blog. ?? In any case, I guess I just can’t comment on Ka’u. There have been a few of the Reserves that have not knocked my socks off. I thought the Aged Sulawesi Kalosi wasn’t all that interesting, and usually I like aged coffees.

  • Dave Wakeman

    I’d be interested in knowing how the beer and wine menus were put together. It’d be a shame to have just Bud, Bud Light or other lame beers. I think that having these beer and wine locations in the Seattle area could be a really good opportunity for Starbucks to work with some of the local brewers to create beers especially for the stores, like Mac N Jack’s started out with the zoo.

    If I were a partner, I’d love to work on this combo. This is kind of in my sweet spot.

  • Melody

    @DaveWakeman – I think the beer and wine menu is supposed to be truly local offerings. If you look at the Brewery Blocks article, I think there were local oregon beers and wines at that store. I bet we’re going to see more of these stores … but where? 😎

  • Stewart

    It looks and sounds like a nice store. I went to the Portland, Ore beer/wine Starbucks on opening night and I was certainly not impressed with the partners, the wine selection and most importantly the serving of the wine. They had generic stemless red wine glasses and the rest were stored under hot florescent lights baking all day. I started with a Pinot Noir that I was familiar with, and it was absolutely horrid.

    The store was empty, the only people at the bar were partners, all new. Service was slow, and the partners sitting at the bar were far to open about their sexuality. As a customer, it don’t need to know that. It was honestly the worst Starbucks experience i’ve had, but I left know one thing for certain, Starbucks should stick with coffee.

  • kara86ster

    Actually I remembered the new black mug that’s in your previous blog post. The color’s so attractive, its almost impossible for me to ignore it. LOL. Its very similar, I wonder if the mug was released to signal more beer & wine outlets to come? Just a guess, though… =)

  • Cindy GH

    Thank you for the great pictures! We do not have any stores like this in Canada yet, so I am looking forward to a trip to Seattle this summer with my family. Coincidentally, we rented a house in Issaquah instead of staying directly in Seattle, so I will be nice and close to check out this store!

  • Suzaina

    Yes, I have been there earlier. Its so much better now. I hope i was there to witness the party too. It looks so refreshing now. Sometimes I do love to have a beer in the evening. Sometimes we need to think different. I am sure gonna visit there soon again.

  • denise r

    @Chgo and @Melody: I think I saw that the upcoming Ka’u Reserve is $25./half pd. That’s a bit less than the Blue Mtn, but not much….the Blue Mtn was $30./bag. That’s too steep for me….I never thought the Blue Mtn was worth anywhere near that price. I liked it ok…but, not worth THAT much.
    It will be interesting to taste the ‘Ka’u’ but I can’t imagine how good it would have to be to me in order for me to think it’s really worth that price.
    My ‘gold standard’ is Yergacheffe, of course….but, that’s for me.

    oh, also @Chgo: IF we were to get a ‘beer & wine’ :( Sbux here, I’m guessing it would be in the Gold Coast area. or should I say ‘morning Joe area’. ???

  • Steve

    Oy Vay another booze place. Guess that’s the direction the world, at least Starbucks’ world, is heading. Can I use my gold card get stars for booze? As Steward said above “Starbucks should stick to coffee”. If people want to drink booze there is a plothora of cocktail lounges and teverns.

  • Chgo.

    @Denise – Good one on the Gold Coast or should we say Morning Joe part of town. I would say that the Ka’u will knock your socks off about as much as the JBM did. Good but not great. I will have to wait to try a full cup before totally judging it. I would love to get a shot at the Yergacheffe.

    @Steve – You know I was never a fan of the beer or wine, but Que sera sera (Whatever will be will be). Let’s face it, Starbucks will do whatever they have to do as a business first and foremost. My wife and I drink coffee, but not one of my friends do. On a positive note…. The only bright side for me personally, would be to get a friend into Starbucks for some good conversation. If i can’t get them in their to have coffee with me, at least they could enjoy another option to my coffee drinking. I enjoy beer and wine, but Starbucks wouldn’t be the place I would enjoy it. My friends refuse to come in Starbucks for that one reason. They hate coffee! I would love to find some common ground outside of a bar, which I would agree, I don’t want Starbucks to become.

  • Chgo.

    Pardon the typos.

  • Melody

    @Stewart – I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience at the Portland Brewery Blocks store. Have you thought about telling the manager about your experience?

  • Stewart

    @Melody After waiting nearly 10 minutes to order with no other customers in front of me, only partners sitting around the bar openly talking about their sex lives, when I finally ordered the guy didn’t even know Pinot Noir was a red nor that Pinot Gris was a white on my second round. Considering that either the sm or asm was one of the ones at the bar doing inventory and ordering on his laptop, reporting it to the sm would be rather pointless.

    I just chalked it up to new partners, poor training and Starbucks trying to enter a market they don’t have a clue about. In a heavy populated area such as Portland pearl district with plenty of options, I just don’t see a reason to ever return. That and I just moved from Portland to San Francisco last week.

    Before leaving, I did recommend putting the reds in the refrigerator until they are ready to drink and overnight at closing, and to keep all wines away from bright light and heat. To that I was told, whites are chilled, reds are room temperature. In fact that is far from accurate, reds should be served at 65-67, and whites not less than 50, but in any case boiling under a fluorescent light all day is not room temperature.

    If Starbucks cannot provide the same training and strict quality control as they do with their coffee, they don’t even need to bother entering an already crowded market with Much better alternatives with better selections, proper glassware and quality control. That’s my take anyhow.

  • purple1

    Stewart I think your experience is one that should be shared with SB. I would probably not return or enjoy my visit either. I think that having a wine option at a SB is a nice offer if it is presented to the customer properly, but I totally understand that the field is saturated with wine bars, etc. If SB wants to get an excellent reputation for its wine bars, then they have to step up and make it something special. Training is essential so the partner can share with the customer the different wines that are offered.

  • Melody

    @Purple1 – You are absolutely right that Stewart’s experience needs to get back to Starbucks. I suggested the manager because I trust that is a well run store, but Customer Service is also a good option here:

    Starbucks Customer Service
    800-Starbuc (800-782-7282)
    Mon – Fri 5 AM – 8 PM (PST)
    Sat 6 AM – 4 PM (PST)

    There is a small chance that someone reading this blog will take corrective action, because I’ve heard of these blog posts getting back to the stores, but I don’t really know for sure, and it is best NOT to gamble on that idea.

    @Stewart – You’re right that the store needs to up its partner training about wines if that’s what you got!

    By the way, since you just moved to San Francisco, check out this store!

    ^ I would love to know if they still have their historic 1987 to 1992 era logo still hanging up!

  • Stewart

    To be honest, my experience at that store does not bother me as much as it might seem. I go to Starbucks hundreds of times a year and have had many good experiences as well as a number of bad. I know that is not the norm, but you guys are right, I should at least let cs know, because if it were my first time to Starbucks, it would not entice me to return. I understand however that it was opening day and willing to cut them some slack, but waiting 10 minutes in an empty store to order so the partners can sit around the bar openly talking about their sex lives should not happen at any store regardless of how long the partners have been there.

    The point I’m making is that if sbux is serious about beer/wine, they really need to step it up. Part of serving wine is knowing and drinking wine. Most restaurants, even class b, will taste each bottle opened for cooking. Even though a lot of partners do not drink coffee often or can’t stomach black coffee or espresso shots, the passport was required (loosely enforced). Maybe something similar for beer/wine. Also some pairings would be nice, an Italian cheese and meet platter, fresh fruits, sandwich pairings, etc. Instead of pouring it in a glass, put in a one serving carafe so you always get the same amount but can pour at your own rate so you can better taste it in a generic red glass.

    I guess the biggest thing I don’t understand is the target demographic. I can recommend a dozen places in Portland pearl district to get a glass of wine and snack or dessert without the bar setting and are quite enough to have a meeting or conversation. Less so for beer, but if I just got off work and want a quick beer before heading home, there are so many micro brew pubs in the area. I bet a suburban market like Issaquah may have better success.

    The historic store is a bit out of my normal commute, but perhaps I can run over there now and check it out. I was excited to find the store 2 blocks from my condo is 24 hr. All the 24 hr stores in Portland changed to closing at 11 weekdays and 12 weekends.

  • Stewart

    Excuse all the typos, I sent that from my mobile at Starbucks.

  • purple1

    Stewart I so agree the conversation at the bar was not appropriate whether there was one customer or twenty in the store. I suppose perhaps SB did some marketing to determine a wine option would work there? Thanks for further discussion on your thoughts re the wine option.

  • Stewart

    Great news, the sign is still there. I snapped a few pictures which you can see here :

    The decor looks quite old, but looks like it’s had a remodel since 1992. I asked a partner when it was last remodeled and he wasn’t sure, but will be getting one very soon, they don’t know if the sign will stay or not.

    I also saw a very interesting sign at a store on vann ness & bush, I didn’t stop but will get a pic on the way back.

  • Blakeco123

    I love the names of these stores, I wish they could some how do this nationally but not lose the Starbucks name or image.

  • kitenarie

    These are so cool! I’m sure this will only ever be a metropolitan thing though… nothing like that will be coming to central NJ for quite awhile!

    Although I do have some good news! Apparently some corporate types were in recently because we’re due for a refresh or a remodel (I’m really not sure which but probably refresh because it’s only been 5 years since we opened), so maybe there’s hope for getting those Mastrenas after all!

  • denise r

    @Stewart: I do agree with almost all of what you’re writing…..the experience (bad) etc. and I agree that no wine should be kept in any bright, warm light. But, a very close friend of mine owned a large liquor store in Chicago for quite a few yrs. (not so far from your neck of the woods @Chgo) I learned from her that reds are always room temp, whites are generally chilled. However, there is a “trend” today that many people do “prefer” their red wine chilled.

    And, even with coffee (ESPECIALLY with coffee) I am of the belief that the partners should know about it. ALOT about it!

  • Chgo.

    @denise – What Liquor store and what location?

  • denise r

    @Chgo: she sold in ’83~? in Edison Pk, corner of NW Hwy & Oliphant…..was there from about ’76-’83. corner…. looks MUCH different there now.

  • Hayley

    @Chgo, Melody and Denise – Are you certain they are still going to sell the Hawaii Ka’u on Wednesday? I received an email a few days ago from Starbucks that it could be ordered, and when I went to the site about an hour later it was already gone! It said they only had 200 bags (maybe that was just online inventory). I was heart broken, I was so excited to try it. Denise, I did see that it was pretty expensive for a half lb, but it’s the same price they charge for the Kona which you can get all year on the island.

    Melody, if you are fortunate enough to try the Hawaii Ka’u will you please do a blog post on it? The notes in it sound amazing and I’d love to know how it compares!

  • Chgo

    @Hayley – I was told the 4th which is today, but I was also told Wednesday at the same store. Last Friday morning, I saw the bag in the store and they brewed some. They said they wouldn’t display it until the day they could sell it (Today? – Tomorrow?) I will know within an hour for sure. If you are buying online, maybe it’s too late. I’m not sure how much they are selling at Reserve Stores which may be your only option.

    As I said before. I tried it. To me if you’re looking for that Kona taste, I didn’t taste the flavors that define a Kona. If I’m not mistaken, it’s grown in the same region but isn’t a Kona. It tasted awfully mild to me, but I only sampled a few ounces off a Clover. Not enough for me to make a real impression.

  • denise r

    @Hayley (and Chgo): it’s Tues. morn the 4th. I just called the biggest (Streets of Woodfield) Clover store near me and yes, I was told, they just got the Ka’u today and it is available today….yes, $25./half lb. The partner I talked with said he’d expected it to taste more medium but he found it more like Kona, even maybe a little more “kick”. So, that’s my update;)

  • Hayley

    Thanks for the update! They still don’t have any offered on the Starbucks Store website, so maybe that supply was only online inventory. Unfortuantely, there are not any any reserve or Clover stores in Arizona.
    Usually, I am more of a bold coffee drinker, but Hawaii holds a very special place in my heart… I got married on Maui. So, I have a soft spot for anything Hawaiian. :)
    Maybe they will bring some back on the website, I’ll have to keep an eye out.

  • Chgo.

    Sorry Haley!
    I wasn’t paying attention and misinterpreted what you meant. I also wasn’t paying attention to the fact it wasn’t available. My Bad!

  • Pencil to Paper

    I love seeing locations with the new Siren logo! None near me—at least none that I’ve seen—have it yet. Not that I mind, I still like the old logo. Nostalgia, I suppose. But it’s always fun for me to see the new one. I wish the locations closer to me were as unique looking inside! Love the pictures!

  • French Bean

    Beer and wine?! How European is that! 😀

  • Melody

    @FrenchBean – LOL – Yep it does seem very European!

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