clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Starbucks Opens America's Fourth 'Express' Concept in Chicago's Union Station

They use tickets instead of baristas asking your name

Starbucks "Express" in Union Station Chicago.
Starbucks "Express" in Union Station Chicago.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A new kind of Starbucks store opened this morning in Union Station, the first such concept in Chicago and fifth overall for the company. At the tiny "express" store, baristas won't ask customers for their names. Instead this spot uses a ticketed system with a scaled-back menu of its most-popular coffee drinks and pastries—and no seating—according to the Tribune.

The new Union Station location is 635 square-feet, according to Starbucks. It's not automated, like those McDonald's kiosks. Customers still speak with baristas, then move to a cash register and pay. Starbucks brass hopes this will cut down waits for commuters in and out of Union Station. They debuted the concept in April 2015 in New York. Since then, they've added two more express locations in NYC and one in Toronto, according to the Tribune.

The focus is on speed. That means items like the Frappuccino won't be available because they take too long to make. The food menu also differs from a typical Starbucks, focusing on breakfast sandwiches and croissants.

Chicago Union Station

225 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 322-6777 Visit Website