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Our Newest Store in Amsterdam: Mingling Tradition with Innovation

Only a few months ago I was standing with our design team inside a cavernous concrete shell below the beautiful city of Amsterdam. We were inside “The Bank,” a landmark building in Rembrandt Square, and were about to transform the empty 1,400 square foot bank vault into the biggest single space for one of our stores in all of Europe. It had to honor the existing architecture and culture of the city, but is also had to feel just like your neighborhood Starbucks.

We started with a deep study of Dutch design.  The Dutch have a strong sensibility of using open spaces with clean lines – a simple aesthetic combined with functional ingenuity.  But this is also a culture rich with trade history that influences an inviting, intimate and relaxed old world aesthetic, and no one knows this more than our Dutch-born Concept Design Director Liz Muller and her team in Amsterdam.

It was important to employ local artists and use indigenous materials as much as possible – decisions in direct support of our commitment to sustainable building using LEED practices. Exposed stone walls and repurposed Dutch oak picks up the aged beauty of blue and white Delftware tiles, a local art form dating back to the 16th century, while a cartographic mural celebrates the history of 17th century Dutch coffee traders. And should your eyes wander up, the ceiling features an undulating relief composed of 1,876 hand-cut and stained wooden blocks forming the face of our Siren. 

This is a store that breaks new ground for us in Europe. It’s the first store in Europe to feature Starbucks Reserve® coffee via the Clover® brewing system, and our first store equipped with its own in-house bakery.  The experience that is brought to life in this store - new design aesthetics, amplified coffee theater, and the depth of connection to the culture of this place – sets the stage for  our future across Europe. 

“My vision was to bring the space to life by celebrating local history and tradition,” says Liz, “while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”

Next time your travels bring you to Amsterdam, we invite you to stop in and explore this innovative coffeehouse – a place where history and possibility merge into one. 

comments (64)

Comment FAQ

    • 5/5/2012 11:03 AM

    Yea for Starbucks - I travel to Europe from Alaska at least once a year or more and I look forward to visitng the newest Amsterdam store - thank you. When will the European stores ever accept the Starbucks card - it would be a great help.

    • coolryper
    • 5/8/2012 10:47 PM

    Hoera! Schitterend!, as we say in Dutch.
    I'm a Dutch citizen partner living in Los Angeles. I came across this article while looking over my Sbux card account. What a store this is, I can't wait to visit next time I'm in Holland.
    Well done, Liz Muller. Gefiliciteerd en succes d'r mee!

    • travelbarbi
    • 5/9/2012 6:13 AM

    We were just in Amsterdam and lo and behold, there was Starbucks. Yippee!

    • RossKnapp1
    • 5/15/2012 5:00 PM

    This is a great move for Starbucks! It has such a warmer, local hangout spot feel to it than the vast majority of them here in the US. But it still has a stylish and contemporary feel to it that has usually become synonomous with the company. Well done Starbucks, and I must say that if you recreated a similar feel in all our stores in America your stores would be very busy all day long, not just mainly during the morning commute.

    • lindaelizabeth5210
    • 5/20/2012 4:33 AM

    I live near Amsterdam.....New York. When I saw the headline, I was all excited to think that there was going to be a new store there, until I saw that it was Amsterdam, Holland. Funny.

    Anyway, it's a beautiful store. One can always hope.

    • polenj
    • 6/4/2012 3:04 PM

    Elephant in the Room People: Will they serve POT? REFER, Mary-J? The headline was very misleading with the word "tradition".

    • waddetree
    • 6/7/2012 5:08 AM

    Starbucks ....legacy of beans
    Hard work and tribulations
    Healthy and social ethical treatment of farmers
    And peoples of the land.

    Great thank you to starbucks.

    • CincyDave
    • 6/7/2012 10:25 AM

    Since you mention the ceiling it would be nice to see a good image of it.

    Also, why the big conference table? Is that part of the Dutch tradition , too?

    • paulalikesbold2
    • 12/18/2012 6:15 AM

    What a warm, inviting space. What is appealing to me is that it doesn't look 'commercial', but more like a living space (ie: loft). Perhaps our East Coast venues will have makeovers ? Also, the Clover method of coffee making is awesome. Perhaps the cost will come down at some point and become more available in other store locations in Eastern Queens (please).

    • marlenemt97
    • 12/28/2012 8:00 PM

    Awsomee :)

    • momlindax3
    • 2/12/2013 11:24 AM

    would love to see this open clean concept in US stores...refresh the image

    • rpinlet
    • 2/12/2013 12:14 PM

    When can we expect to see a few of this type store in U.S?

    Too many U.S. Starbucks' focus on "in and out", with little space for those who want a coffeehouse experience.

    I have been a Starbuck's customer since 1977 and want more a more casual, sitting experience.

    Amersterdam has it!!!!

    • Pastis12
    • 4/18/2013 8:04 PM

    I'm getting rock fever... Wish I leave Hawaii and go to Amsterdam to visit.
    How about more info about Starbucks in Europe...Scandinavia, France, Slovenia, anywhere? What about columns or blogs written by customers (moi? famous writers, artists, whatever).
    Some of the Starbucks stores here are really UNinviting, such as the
    closet in the Costco/Hawaii Kai shopping mall.

    • kurt50
    • 5/27/2013 6:13 PM

    I,ve been to this store several times and i,ll have to say this is the
    coolest location ever. When I first went to amsterdam several
    years ago they never had a Starbucks , now there popping up
    in several locations.This store is a must see while your in

    • debcoffeez
    • 7/13/2013 12:18 PM

    Ohhh! Cant wait to visit it!!! I work for an Airline so I may need to take a trip just for a cuppa at this new location! I too was wondering about the whole "Dutch Coffee House / Refer' thing...I cant imagine Starbucks allowing it even though its legal there? I dont frequent the ganja houses there so I'd like to be prepared if this wil be an exception? If they are reefer free, this could also be a draw for a Family Friendly Coffee House

    • maryspets
    • 8/1/2013 12:29 PM

    The Amsterdam coffee house is beautiful. I would like to see a little bigger ones in the US. At least big enough to sit and relax with a friend. I also like sitting out side, except in the snow.

    • blondevixen1123
    • 8/1/2013 10:46 PM

    GORGEOUS!! Please consider this concept for us Americanos!! I would love to have a place like this here in Virginia!

    • julia_postle
    • 8/3/2013 3:55 PM

    We need one like this in Pasadena, CA!! Great design!

    • 1gallaghl
    • 8/9/2013 12:57 PM

    Made a point to gather at every Starbucks in Munich this summer and included friends each time. Wonderful atmosphere and a cool way to hang out and people watch. Also caught the store in Budapest! A bit more closed in, but still very cool. Can hardly wait to see this concept flourish throughout Europe. My tour group teases me about my Starbucks stops, but they come right along and join in!

    • bettyjocamp74
    • 9/18/2013 9:39 PM

    I hope to get to that store. Every time I visit a new store I buy a mug specific to that area. Our collection continues to grow!

    • 10/15/2013 1:26 PM

    I've been to this's very nice. Huge! I'd like to see this in the U.S.

    • 11/1/2013 6:11 AM

    I love starbucks coffee.

    • 11/1/2013 6:12 AM

    It is a great place to visit, and relax.

    • 11/20/2013 6:02 PM

    Warm inviting look! Would like to see that look in Westlake Village or Thousand Oaks, CA.

    • SteveJJ80
    • 11/25/2013 6:20 PM

    One word: WOW!
    Please update your Minnesota stores as they all seem overly conservative and too much like the other coffee stores. More warm woods, granites, stone, et al. Thx

    • 11/30/2013 1:40 PM

    Fabulous! The architectural design is awesome. The stores throughout the United States are too small and compact and require an open-environment just like this one. In fact, the Starbucks stores throughout the United States need a fresh and inviting look.

    • bkatz43
    • 12/1/2013 8:38 PM

    I challenge you, Starbucks: can you put up a store like this one in home-based Seattle BEFORE the Alaskan Way tunnel project debacle is completed?!

    • 12/11/2013 11:57 AM

    I hope they could build starbucks that look like that around the US

    • 813dave
    • 12/11/2013 1:20 PM

    When is that beautiful design coming to California? !?!

    • sindyblu
    • 12/11/2013 6:04 PM

    I would love to see stores like this in the U.S, especially in some of the bigger cities, L.A, NY, SF, etc. It doesn't have to be all the stores but something located in the downtown areas, or busier sections of a city, would be wonderful. This Amsterdam location is a quintessential coffeehouse similar to those I have found throughout Latin America and Europe. I have found them in the US as well (non Starbucks) but they always seem to come with an air of arrogance with them.
    L.A needs one too:)

    • afidurko
    • 12/11/2013 7:25 PM

    I agree with many comments that wonder why a store like this cannot exist in the U.S. Our Needham, MA store is tiny and crowded yet it has tons of business. We deserve a place just as nice.

    • jdwpugetsound
    • 12/11/2013 9:32 PM

    We've visited several stores in Europe and we'll be in Amsterdam next spring. Anxious to see this store.

    • jgsanchez
    • 12/12/2013 6:58 AM

    Liked it very much

    • mannybb
    • 12/12/2013 8:07 AM
    • Oberoi21
    • 12/12/2013 9:38 AM

    Wow he design is amazing and so inviting!

    • 12/12/2013 10:12 AM

    Super Nice.

    • priscilla5197
    • 12/12/2013 10:17 AM

    Love the design! Looking forward to my next visit to Amsterdam to enjoy
    Starbucks coffee and yes tea. Thanks for such a lovely spot.

    • Mramdarass
    • 12/12/2013 11:57 AM

    This store looks incredible. It's been a while since this article was posted. Where is the newest store now and when will we get one as extravagant in the US?

    • zianna1022
    • 12/12/2013 12:14 PM

    Would be nice to have in US

    • whiterain
    • 12/12/2013 1:05 PM

    Awesome decor! Will definetly check it out next time in Amsterdam.

    • waytojo
    • 12/12/2013 5:04 PM

    Wow…this makes our Beverly, MA store look awfully sad :(

    • Mochagirlsd
    • 12/12/2013 6:20 PM

    Wow; makes me want to go there just for the experience!!!

    • Rmueller8
    • 12/12/2013 8:12 PM

    Can't wait to visit this location. Regina???

    • ColleenMP
    • 12/12/2013 10:27 PM

    An interesting way to use the wood blocks and what I see is a very welcoming environment. Good Job!

    • LavonHill
    • 12/13/2013 2:12 AM
    • jjwh49
    • 12/13/2013 9:26 AM

    Starbucks has the greatest choice of coffees no matter where they are located in the world! Glad they are all over the world with many locations!

    • Hans.Senn
    • 12/13/2013 10:31 AM

    Wife and I stayed in Amsterdam for couple of weeks during July 2013, while visiting numerous relatives throughout Nederland, and visited this Starbucks frequently. Love the store and the wonderful, friendly personnel and clients. We also recommend the beautifully retro-designed Starbucks in the Centraal Station. Caution though... it's the upstairs Starbucks (accessed via the upstaris railway platforms), not the extremely crowded downstairs Starbucks.

    • nanacostanzo1234
    • 12/13/2013 2:31 PM

    Can't wait to visit.

    • Veronicac23
    • 12/13/2013 4:07 PM

    Absolutely stunning! I can't even imagine as I live in a town where there is no Starbucks :( but i am lucky that surrounding towns have them close enough and several on my daily trip to work! Thank goodness!

    • Nanzia
    • 12/13/2013 9:57 PM

    Wish I was there, right now! Just something about sitting down in a cafe while perusing a newspaper in Amsterdam.... (oh, well...I can dream, can't I!?!)

    • dhathewa
    • 12/14/2013 6:33 AM

    We've been there and loved it. Great decor, wonderful space. The barristas were the best. Amsterdam's local coffee shops were also charming and we visited several but we went to this Starbucks in Remblandtplein twice to get a good, large Starbucks cup of coffee.

    • 60oceanFUN
    • 12/14/2013 3:04 PM

    Wow) Marvelous design. Yes, bring this design to the United States. How about Santa Fe, NM for starters!

    • mjacksonahhs
    • 12/15/2013 11:14 AM

    I think its beautiful there

    • stephanie.mcmurray
    • 12/15/2013 7:27 PM

    Something I would like to experience.

    • 12/15/2013 8:42 PM
    • selinaflores
    • 12/16/2013 1:08 AM

    great coffee !

    • Burn87
    • 12/16/2013 4:59 AM

    Amazing coffee‼️

    • icedcoffeeventi
    • 12/16/2013 6:29 AM

    Why don't you do that here in the good old USA. All the stores in my area were remodeled & what ever "character" they had was stripped away. Now it almost feels like your walking into a McDonald's. It's all very generic. Every store looks just about the same. Hire some local artist or college students that are studying in that field. Now that would be awesome.

    • 12/16/2013 11:12 AM

    I would feel like a princess to be able to enjoy Starbucks in such an amazing environment. I agree with others that more locations should be designed to make a person feel like they are escaping to another world....even if just for a short time!

    • 12/16/2013 11:55 AM

    Coffee out of this world!!

    • 12/17/2013 7:27 AM

    Love Starbucks

    • patdegroot
    • 12/26/2013 8:54 PM

    Sounds like a great place to visit

    • MMKing1954
    • 1/8/2014 6:03 AM

    I am going to Amsterdam in June of this year! I will be there with bells on! Eager to see this store in person.

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