Before tackling the Florida Turnpike, Palmetto Expressway, or I-95, you may need your caffeine fix. Thankfully, there is a Starbucks placed where 167th Street meets NE Second Ave. While a drive-thru may conjure up images of talking into clown mouths and teenagers in headsets, that is not the case at this Starbucks.
This location resembles something architecturally and visually interesting. Better yet, you are able to order obnoxiously in the comfort of our car, without having to hear your neighbors in line doing the same. Of course, it still has that stylized, slightly pretentious aura that we have come to expect with our extra-hot, nonfat, venti latte with two Splendas.
Drive-thru Starbucks are nothing new, but this one has some extra squirts of originality whipped in.
First, this cool space is only 614 square feet with no room for customers to plug in and hang out. It is strictly a drive-thru and window walk-up. It is pretty bizarre, like a Starbucks exhibit at the Smithsonian where you can look in but not enter. You can see the same pastry case with croissants and cake pops and the baristas in green aprons frothing and pumping your beverage but you can't get too close.
The experience was efficient and we had the same enjoyment in small talk with our barista that we would have in the store. We learned the entire store was manufactured offsite, trucked in to Miami, and finally assembled on location. The barista was amazed how quickly it appeared and that he was able to be instantly transferred here.
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According to a Starbucks spokesperson, there are presently only 13 of these modular Starbucks drive-thru stores around the country and this is the first one in Miami. This location is adding to the growing portfolio of sustainably designed stores. They are designed with the environment in mind and built to LEED certification standards.
With so many Starbucks, it's refreshing to see that this one breaks the cookie-cutter mold in an environmentally responsible way. Roll on up and check it out.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst