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World’s Largest Starbucks Drew Nearly 10,000 Fans on Opening Day

Plus, Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani has big restaurant plans for 2020, and more intel

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Two bartenders work on drinks behind a bar with diners in the background.
Thousands of people visited the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago on Friday.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Thousands flock to the world’s largest Starbucks on opening day

Nearly 10,000 people visited the world’s largest Starbucks on Friday’s opening day, according to an official tweet. More than 1,000 of those fans lined up in freezing temperatures before the doors opened for a first crack inside the mammoth new Reserve Roastery in the former longtime Crate & Barrel store at 646 N. Michigan Avenue. Many documented their experience on social media, some posing beside the 58-foot metal cask that shuttles coffee beans throughout the space.

Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani plans to open at least 12 restaurants next year

Top Chef repeat contender Fabio Viviani plans to open at least a dozen restaurants in 2020, according to Crain’s. He currently runs 35 restaurants around the country, including his River North flagship Siena Tavern and luxe Loop steakhouse Prime & Provisions with DineAmic Hospitality. Those two restaurants alone reportedly take in $14 million in revenue annually, and Viviani currently manages 2,500 employees.

Gotham Greens launches the Midwest’s largest urban greenhouse in Pullman

Indoor greenhouse developer Gotham Greens has opened the Midwest’s largest urban agriculture “campus” in the Pullman Historic District, representatives wrote in an email. The new 100,000 square-foot greenhouse is entirely dependent on renewable electricity and uses 95 percent less water and 97 percent less land than traditional farming. The company currently operates six greenhouses in the U.S., including another 75,000 square-foot Chicago location on the roof of Method Products in Pullman.

City to demolish would-be West Town Cloud Kitchens site

And finally, construction crews will demolish the West Town warehouse that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick once slated for a commercial delivery-only restaurant kitchen called Cloud Kitchens, Block Club reported. Vacant since 2016, the former carpet warehouse at 2041-2059 W. Race Street has several alleged building code violations. The company then shifted its attention to a North Center property, but those plans have stalled since the city denied a zoning change necessary to open a kitchen in the space.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago

646 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website

Siena Tavern

51 West Kinzie Street, , IL 60654 (312) 595-1322 Visit Website

Prime & Provisions

222 North LaSalle Street, , IL 60601 (312) 726-7777 Visit Website