One of the special little bonuses of taking a drive outside Seattle is noticing all the little drive-thru coffee huts along the way to your destination. Bigfoot Java gives way to Cowgirls Espresso and pretty soon you're thinking about stopping at one of those bikini barista spots the police blotter keeps telling you about. Starbucks probably isn't going to break out the bikinis anytime soon but they are bringing the drive-thru experience closer to Seattle with the opening of a 600 square feet Seattle's Best Coffee hut in SoDo.
It's not just a drive-thru as there is also a window on the sidewalk side for pedestrians and bicyclists, which is the most Seattle thing I've ever heard of.
Starbucks sees the "mini-store" as a way to appeal to consumers on the go, which Seattle certainly has plenty of. At 600 sq. feet, the space is 65% smaller than the previous incarnation. And because the tiny shop can fit easily into just about any retail or parking lot space, they're able to take advantage of high-traffic, but otherwise unusable, areas.
Starbucks plans to roll out more of these tiny coffeehouses around the country beginning in 2013.
The new spot is open Monday – Friday from 5:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 6:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.