The Powell Street Plaza Starbucks soft-opened their “Starbucks Evenings” program on Tuesday January 26th. The location is the first in the East Bay Core to launch the program aimed at extending beyond morning, afternoon and evening caffeinated beverages and pre-made foods. The Evenings program adds craft beer, wine and heated small plates to the coffee chains growing list of offerings.
“This store was picked because of its amount of seating, central location & visibility” noted new Store Manager Janelle Mercurio. Mercurio recently moved to Emeryville and previously managed the Hollis location. Janelle began her Starbucks career working as a Barista while putting herself through College.
Pictured: Bacon-wrapped dates, Meatballs, Chicken skewers & Truffled Popcorn washed down with a Lagunitas Pale Ale (Photo: Bobby Lee).
Starbucks first tested the program at its home-base of Seattle in 2010 identifying a need for a casual after work meeting spot. Starbucks has long been a place where a patrons begin their day and are also looking to become an Evening destination and “a place to unwind”.
Craft Beers includes local favorites by Anchor Brewing (S.F.) and Lagunitas (Petaluma) as well as Ballast Point (San Diego). Wines were curated by a small team of Starbucks “sensory experts” who tasted more than 500 wines to determine the 10 best factoring in value and taste.
The Starbucks Evenings menu features food items including bacon-wrapped dates, meatballs with tomato sauce, chicken skewers, truffle popcorn, chicken sausage and mushroom flatbread. Prices for Beer are in the $5 range, Food in the $5-7 range and a glass of wine running from $8-10.
In addition to counter service, Starbucks employs a waiter-hybrid referred to as “second service” who checks ID’s and relays orders and payments.
To make the store more inviting and social for evening patrons, the store integrated dimmable lighting and a community table. Future plans for Starbucks Evening locations may include local art and live acoustic music.
Beer & Wine are served after 2pm on weekdays and noon on weekends and stay open an addition hour from Fri-Sun until 10pm. Beginning February 4th, the locations will implement a weekly tasting from 5-6pm. The Location is expected to host an official Grand Opening event sometime in Mid-February. “We have a live music license and I’ve been inquiring with locals & regulars who they might like to see perform” added Janelle.
The program was also rolled out in Danville (which is in Alameda County and technically considered “East Bay”) and there are plans to bring the program to the Alameda Webster Square location. Starbucks Corporate is working to identify addition locations that can accommodate the program but there are no current plans to bring this to Emeryville’s other two Starbucks locations.
Follow the Christie Avenue Store on their unofficial Instagram account for additional updates @StarbucksChristieAve.
Sample Menu (Varies by region. Not all items available):