Seattle's Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks /fully operated by Starbucks) is launching little tiny drive-thru only stores all over the country. I understand that there will be about 300 of them, from what I have heard - look for one near you! Before I go any further, I want to say that I had BLAST experiencing this. A total blast. I write this article sitting at home, smiling. Today is Saturday, and I was out with a good friend, and we were returning home to Seattle from something we'd both just been to in West Seattle. My friend was driving her car. This is an important little piece of information because normally, I don't get to go through drive-thrus at all. At the moment, I don't have access to a car, and I haven't for the past couple of months. And even before that, because of some mechanical problems with my old car, I would not use a drive-thru. So this was a special occasion for me: It's the first time I've been through a drive-thru in quite a while. My last drive-thru experience might have been the shipping container Starbucks which opened in December 2011. And I think I may have only used the walk up window during my visit to the shipping container store.
In fact, I'd previously planned to take the Link Light Rail to the SODO station and walk to the new Seattle's Best Coffee drive thru, but this was much more of a treat to experience this spontaneously with a friend in a car.
My friend and I were driving northbound on Fourth Avenue South. We saw the little drive thru, and pulled in and first parked so I could take a few photos. Here's the what the store looks like as you approach from Fourth Avenue South, heading northbound:
I walked up to the walk up window and ordered an "Iced Birthday Cake Latte." This was surprisingly good. It was very sweet with lots of vanilla flavor, and had fantastic toppings. The curls on top tasted like shaved white chocolate. And the sprinkles were fun too. I can see how people get hooked on these sweet drinks! Trust me, it wasn't a true "coffee" experience but it was a delicious experience. I had tons of fun ordering, and since I didn't know what to get, the helpful partner (all the people working in company-operated SBCs are called "partners") in the red apron suggested this beverage as one of his favorites. He was super nice. (I think he said his name was Sam.) And then I took some more photos from the front of the SBC drive thru:
By the way, this SBC drive thru is so close to the Starbucks Support Center (Starbucks calls their headquarters the "SSC," which stands for the "Starbucks Support Center.") that you could see the top of the Siren peaking out at us. (It's most obvious in the very first photo in this article).
Then the two of us went through the drive thru. My friend and I both ordered vegetable pockets. They were pretty good. My friend thought the inside texture was a bit too 'doughy' for her, but there were still good. When I was at the walk up window, I did inquire about the breakfast sandwiches. For a long time, SBC has offered a very nice basic egg and cheese sandwich that I like much better than the Starbucks breakfast sandwiches. It somehow tastes fresher. Those are still available. There is a variety of food and drink items available. The guy working the drive-thru appeared to be having a blast. I snapped a cute photo when my friend leaned forward to grab some money!
If you want to visit this little Seattle's Best Coffee, the address is 2990 Fourth Avenue South, Seattle, Washington, 98134.
This store's grand opening was November 14, 2012.
(By the way, I don't recall where I heard that there would be about 300 of these new concept drive-thrus, so if anyone has more definite information, please let me know. I do think it's cool that they are planned to be all company-operated stores!)
I realize this little Seattle's Best Coffee blog is very quiet! Please leave me a comment and "like" the blog!