UW News

April 11, 2017

University of Washington and Starbucks to create unique coffeehouse destination at Suzzallo Library

architectural rendering of the new cafe

Starbucks architectural rendering.Starbucks Coffee Company

The University of Washington and Starbucks Coffee Company ― two iconic hometown institutions ― are coming together to create a world-class coffeehouse destination in the historic and iconic Suzzallo Library. The design of the new cafe, set to open this fall, will honor the library’s rich history and legacy, and serve as a warm and welcoming space for the thousands of students, faculty, staff and guests who visit the library each day.

Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, vice provost for digital initiatives and dean of University Libraries, said, “We are pleased that Starbucks will be showcasing not only their coffee and environment, but that they are integrating the design elements of the historic Suzzallo Library. Henry Suzzallo might be surprised to see a coffee shop in a library, but I think he would be pleased to see students using the library in ways he could not imagine. It would be beyond his wildest dreams.”

“We’re excited about the addition of this very special venue, which will honor the history and design of a truly iconic library. UW Dining’s mission is to provide our University community with a variety of dining options, so we’re proud to partner with Starbucks in this endeavor. We look forward to making this a destination for students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus,” said Pamela Schreiber, assistant vice president for Student Life and executive director of UW Housing & Food Services.

This will be the second Starbucks store at the UW Seattle campus, joining the first full-service location which opened in 2015 at the HUB. UW Housing & Food Services will operate both locations.

For the new cafe at Suzzallo Library, Starbucks store design team worked closely with UW Libraries, UW Housing & Food Services and other campus stakeholders to develop a design that would honor the integrity and heritage of the library, while meeting the growing needs of the campus community. The 4,000-square-foot space will offer a variety of seating options to inspire greater connection between students, faculty and staff, delivering a true coffeehouse destination at the library. Graham Baba Architects served as executive architects for the project, working with Starbucks and the UW team to develop the design from initial concept to project completion.

As with all Starbucks stores, the Suzzallo Library location will offer Starbucks signature menu of handcrafted espresso beverages, brewed coffee, Teavana teas, and a wide selection of food including baked goods, Bistro Boxes, breakfast sandwiches, salads, snacks and more. In response to students’ requests for more options, Starbucks will also offer its selection of small-lot specialty Reserve coffees, which are all roasted and packaged at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill. The new store will also feature the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew on tap, giving customers at the library a new way to experience cold coffee that’s crafted in small batches, slow-steeped, and infused with nitrogen for a smooth, creamy flavor.

“Our upcoming cafe at Suzzallo Library represents a true collaboration between Starbucks and the University, with every aspect of the store designed with the UW student in mind,” said Erin Combs, senior manager for Starbucks Community Partnerships. “Together, we hope to create a unique destination on campus that will bring students, faculty and staff together around a shared love for learning, creating opportunities, and inspiring greater moments of connection.”

For both Starbucks and the University of Washington, the new store builds on a partnership the two Seattle-based institutions first established in 2012. The two organizations have partnered on efforts to support the next generation of leaders through programs like the Husky Leadership Initiative and Starbucks has tapped into a strong, local pipeline of talent by hiring UW interns and graduates to join the Starbucks team. As part of its commitment to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025, Starbucks is supporting UW student veterans by providing guest speakers for Husky Veterans meetings and Foster School of Business Student Veterans meetings, including on topics such as successful transition out of the military and corporate opportunities for MBAs. And each year, hundreds of students, Starbucks partners (employees), and community members come together to volunteer on the UW’s MLK Day of Service.

Details regarding opening date, store hours, and hiring for the new Starbucks at Suzzallo Cafe will be available in the coming months.