Store Tour: Inside 1912 Pike Place, Seattle, USA
Welcome to where it all began
The first thing you notice about the original Starbucks®, located near the waterfront in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, isn’t the modest 45-year-old sign. Or the rich smell of coffee. Or even the impressive sampling of world cultures that move in and out of this humble 1,000-square-foot space each day.
It’s The Line.
In my five years as manager of 1912 Pike Staff, there was never a day without The Line. I doubt there ever will be. It winds out the door. Stretches down the street. Plows past the stop sign on the corner and just keeps on going.
It also keeps on moving, because our baristas are as good as any on the planet. But people don’t come to 1912 Pike for just for a cup of coffee. They come to experience the place where it all began. The place for which Howard still keeps a small key in his jacket pocket, just in case. The place that was kind enough to give me a brilliant opportunity.
As the mother of more than 20,000 (and counting) Starbucks® locations around the world, it’s smaller than you might expect. And yet it attracts thousands of tourists and locals day in and day out — people who come to connect over a cup, share a moment, or even propose marriage (I’ve witnessed many).
Not much has changed here in the years since our bold group of coffee lovers first opened the front door to the busy market. Everything in the entire store is original: the floors, the fixtures, the counters. It’s truly one of a kind.
1912 Pike Place is and will always be a place where we can connect with history — coffee history, Seattle history, business history — every day.
Every Starbucks® is someone’s favorite. Stay tuned for more Store Tours, highlighting locations around the world and revealing what makes them special.
For 100+ years Pike Place Market has been bringing people together for fresh fish, seasonal flowers, and other fun. For 45 of those years, we’ve brought the coffee.
You’ll often see tourists snapping photos below the original Starbucks Coffee Tea Spices sign in front of the Pike Place store.
We still proudly display the brass labels that were on our bulk coffee bins in 1971.
Say hi to Pork’n Beans, a sculpture created locally for the 2001 Pigs on Parade competition that raised money for the Pike Place Market Foundation.
We built the espresso bar slightly higher than the rest of the store so you can watch your barista craft your drink.
We’ve been tossing cups since day one. We still write your name and order on your cup and toss it to your barista for filling.