Cuvee Coffee CEO Mike McKim blogged today about Starbucks' new strategy of designing more local-seeming stores. In a piece entitled "Should Local Coffee Shops Be Afraid?" the head of the local roaster notes:
For years now, the conversation in specialty coffee circles has revolved around the time-honored sentiment that local coffee shops are better than big chains because they are, well, local. . . but what if Starbucks became, in a sense, local?Funny he should ask, because the new "luxury" Starbucks in the W Hotel appears to be fulfilling this exact corporate mission. A rep for the company has provided photos of the space to Eater, with a pitch that emphasizes the "local design elements" and the fact that the store "was specifically designed with Austin in mind." Those elements include a world map made out of "banned plastic bags" and music-inspired fixtures. Behold the whole localish space below.