Fresh off the news that Korean-based coffee chain Caffé Bene will make a play for the caffeine-fueled affection of downtown office workers by opening the chain's first Houston outpost in the GreenStreet development, the Houston First Corporation and Starbucks have revealed a plan to bring a massive, 4,000 square foot outpost of the Seattle-based coffee giant to downtown's Hilton Americas hotel.
Expected to open in October in the northeast corner of the hotel's lobby, the new Starbucks will be one of the first in Texas to feature Starbucks Evenings service, which will provide wine, beer, appetizer-type snacks and desserts after 4 p.m. The shop will also feature Starbucks' new Reserve line — described in a release as "small-lot coffee selected by Starbucks, roasted then delivered to select retail outlets and brewed for individual orders" — i.e., the sort of small-batch, limited quantity product that's only typically found in independently owned coffee shops.
“This will become an eye-opener for downtown visitors for years to come."
“This will become an eye-opener for downtown visitors for years to come,” Ric Campo, chairman of the Houston First board of directors, said in a statement. “And while we have been negotiating this arrangement for more than a year, we are now going to fast-track the buildout phase."
Design changes will include removing the glazing on the exterior windows to allow pedestrians to look into the shop.
"We are intentionally working to integrate what is taking place inside the Hilton and the GRB with what is taking place outside," Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First, added. “We anticipate this inside-outside approach will work seamlessly as we work to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment."
Starbucks joins Pappasitos as another upgrade to the dining options at the hotel that helps make it a draw for people attending events at the George R. Brown convention center and Discovery Green as well as hotel guests. In February, Houston First announced a partnership with real estate firms Griffin Partners and Wulfe & Co. to bring as many as seven new retail, restaurants and sidewalk cafes to the convention center in time for Super Bowl LI in 2017.