Featured Clover Starbucks: The Green Lake Starbucks (Happy 16th birthday today!)

Happy Sweet 16 Birthday Green Lake Starbucks!  This store first opened January 17, 1996, and so today is its 16th birthday!

The Starbucks along Green Lake Way in Seattle just recently had a major remodel, so I thought it would be fun to drop by and visit this store.  The store manager is “Yumi” and she welcomed me into the store and pointed out some of the fun aspects of the remodel.  This store is always busy.  It took me several visits to get some good photos.

The Green Lake area has grown and changed tremendously over the past 20 years, and in some ways Starbucks has always been a part of that.  When I first moved to Seattle, there was an active Vitamilk Diary within a couple blocks of the Green Lake Starbucks.  Every year, Green Lake has a tradition of a milk carton derby on the lake.  Contestants build objects that float – made solely out of milk cartons!  I assume that the tradition began because of the active diary within a few blocks of the lake.  In the past, Starbucks would contribute used milk cartons to participants, and set up a booth at the lake on the Milk Carton Derby day.

One unchanging aspect of the Green Lake neighborhood is that Gregg’s Cycle has been neighbors with this Starbucks for like 20 years.  (I think that the Gregg’s Cycle long pre-dates the Starbucks.)  I like how this Starbucks incorporates lots of cycle-related design features into the store.  There is a wall made out of bicycle tires, all donated by Gregg’s.  There is a lighting fixture designed from bicycle rims.  And the front of the store has stroller, and bicycle parking areas.

Some of the cool things to point out about this store include that it is a two story building, and has a great upstairs patio too.  The upstairs mural was designed with the neighborhood in mind, and is a typical scene from Green Lake.  One odd thing is that the wall adjacent to the stairs has the word “Chat” on it in metal lettering.  My understanding is that it was retained (and unchanged) from before the major remodel.  I don’t know the story behind the oddly large “chat” along the staircase wall.

The store’s remodel is definitely beautiful.  I tried to include a very large number of photos below to give you a sense of it.  Notice the custom chalk art on this Starbucks’ community board:  it’s very rich and beautiful looking.  This store looks very welcoming, and I like lots of the design aspects, including the light fixture produced from bicycle tire rims, but I have to admit that I had the passing thought that the store could’ve been more striking.  For example, the tire wall is solid black.  I would have liked to see Starbucks add some kind of design to that space.  And I enjoyed the tire rim lighting fixture, but I think I would have liked to see more than just one of them.  Having said all that, I still think this is a beautiful remodel, with beautiful wood tones in the espresso bar, and I like the velvety curtains too. 

Absolutely, I will easily recommend this store.  It is gorgeous.  And you will get a perfect drink from a friendly crew of partners.  Happy 16th birthday Green Lake Starbucks!  Drop by and tell me what you think of your experience!

All of the photos below were taken sometime between December 24, 2011, and January 2, 2012.

If you want to visit, the address is as follows:

Green Lake Starbucks
7100 East Green Lake Drive North
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 523 9594

Enjoy the photos!


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  • purple1

    Melody there are so many things I like about this remodel! Thanks for the pics! Love the patio, love the fact that this store made itself part of the neighborhood in its design. Love that Gregg’s donated the tires. Every pic is a gem. Community involvement and interaction makes a store so special.

  • camspi

    This is the store closest to my cousin! When i went there it was SOOOO busy!

  • Cd

    What a great store. I could see myself spending a lot of time there. Thanks for sharing Melody!

  • merryncole

    This looks like a cozy store I would enjoy spending time in. Is the upstairs quieter since the machines are (I’m assuming) on the first floor? If so, that would be especially nice!

  • Steve

    Thanks for the tour Melody. When I return to walking around the lake (it’s too cold now) I will have to stop in. Right now I’m headed down to my sauna where it’s nice and warm.

  • LatteRose

    It’s been ages since I’ve been there, will have to visit again! Looks like a lot more seating is available. Nice!

  • Darkkatpouncing

    WOW! Ok pleasantly pleased that none of the fixtures were what I was expecting when I read your post. The bike rim chandelier is my favorite though I do like the texture of the tire wall (it shows up very well in your photo!). What gets me excited when I walk into a starbucks is when they incorporate themselves into the neighborhood – when they mix a bit of the local history with themselves. Starbucks is Starbucks yet they’re diverse in design more and more. I hope to see this continue. I like the feel of inclusiveness :) Great post! I am looking forward to checking this Starbucks out – even if it’s super busy!

  • Melody

    @Darkkatpouncing – You’re right that tire wall does have a lot of texture! Hope you get to visit this store in person.
    @Steve – You haven’t been to this store since the remodel? You should get in soon and let us know what you think – I know you’ve been to this store a lot. I never went to this store too much so I really don’t even remember what it looked like before the remodel – well, barely remember.

  • Steve

    Yes I do go to this store quite a bit when I walk around Greenlake in the mornings especially to use my free drink coupons since the one in my Safeway on Greenwood doesn’t take them but honors my gold card but it has been too cold lately and I don’t walk in the rain since I have done that and don’t like it at all. A three mile walk should be fun and it ain’t much fun in the rain. From your picture they haven’t touched the front at all but seeing your pictures of the interior I am mot anxious to see the inside. The store is my favorite of the few I’ve been in; the people are so friendly and always smile and I always get a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I go.

  • Melody

    @Steve – That is a great comment. A warm fuzzy feeling is just what is supposed to happen at Starbucks. :-)

  • Steve

    Well Melody then they have got that formula down pat.

  • denise r

    Thanx for another store tour Melody! I especially like the 2nd level patio……that would be very nice in decent weather. (which, btw, you’re NOT having now, right???? the news is all mixed about Seattle and its snow or slush or snow and ice.??)
    Most of the store does look warm and cozy. I’m not too crazy..altho cool idea..about the tire rim light fixture….. too busy, or too ??? something for me. I always like bar stools looking out a window…. and I think most of the remodels, if there’s space, are getting the long computer table now…. I like that, too. and of course the “chat” word…..this has to be the only Sbux with that. (maybe) Plus, same bday as me…..only off by a few :( yrs…..!
    thanx for the trip.

  • Steve

    Yes Denise the upstairs patio is very nice with good views of the lake but now it is not so good with this snow we’ve been having and slow to melt. I agree with you Denise that I’m not too crazy about the tire rim chandeler but it is a biking neighborhood with the bike shop within a block. I remember going there as a kid a really long time ago so it is a fixture there. A mere picture really does not do it justice and I’m excited to see it. If it is tastefully done it’s okay and will be a conversaion piece to be sure. The bike rack by the front door on the left is a good touch especially in a biking neighborhood. The main attraction though are the smiles and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get and I hope that hasn’t chenged. There is always a line and it is obvious why.

    Oh by the way happy birthday Denise.

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