tarbucks continues to refine its mainland offerings with the opening of China’s first Reserve Bakery Café in Shanghai amid growing competition from both local and international coffee brands.
The all-day dining restaurant expands on Starbucks’ line up by introducing a high-end coffee range alongside cocktails and Italian dishes, which the Seattle-based company is calling “the first-of-its-kind Italian aperitivo experience in a Starbucks store location within China.”
“For 20 years, Starbucks has revolutionized, and set new standards, around the third place for our Chinese customers,” Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong said in a statement. “Today marks yet another significant milestone as we take everything we have learned around coffee and our relentless pursuit for food innovation, to create a new exciting all-day cafe dining and Italian aperitivo experience.”
Unlike its regular stores, this cafe serves the premium Reserve Princi Blend brewed using the Black Eagle Espresso Machine, which is used during the World Barista Championship coffee competition. Customers can also have it made using the siphon brewer, as a pour-over, or on tap with Starbucks Draft Nitro.
The food comes from Italian baker Rocco Princi, whose bakery was acquired by Starbucks. Over 100 different items are prepared onsite, and diners can enjoy prosciutto sandwiches, yogurt with fruit and grains, or baked eggs in purgatory for breakfast, soups, pizzas, and salads like chicken and artichoke with Taggiasche olives for lunch, and tiramisu and delizia al Limone sponge cake in the afternoon. The cafe will also serve brunch dishes such as frittata and whole portobello plate.
Everyday between 5pm to 7pm is what Starbucks calls Aperitivo Time, when the cafe turns into a bar serving coffee- or tea-infused cocktails, beer, and Italian wines with free-flow pizza bites, green olives, and a mini-pastry called schiacciatine.
Starbucks isn’t the only coffee brand betting big on China. Canadian chain Tim Hortons plans to open 1,500 restaurants on the mainland over the next decade while British company Costa Coffee, which was recently acquired by Coca-Cola, has its sights on 1,200 stores by 2022. Homegrown brand Luckin Coffee has even bigger designs: they eventually want to have more branches in China than Starbucks.
Starbucks China currently has more than 3,700 outlets in 158 cities across the mainland and wants to double that by 2022.
Starbucks Reserve Bakery Café
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 10pm
Grand Gateway 66, 1 Hongqiao Road
Nearest metro station: Xujiahui