Whether or not you’re a regular customer at Starbucks, if you’re familiar with the chain and happen to be in Seattle, swinging by the original Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place in Seattle is a pretty neat experience.
I’ve probably been to Starbucks a few dozen times in my life, and it’s not part of my daily routine. Still, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to purchase a cup of coffee at Starbucks’ humble beginnings when I was in Seattle.
Fun fact: According to multiple sources, the first Starbucks was actually located at 2000 Western Avenue, which is just a few hundred feet away from 1912 Pike Place. The location on Western was opened in 1971; in 1976, it relocated to Pike Place and has been at that location since. See the end of this post for links to more information about the first location.
In the few days I spent in Emerald City, the first half was sunny. So I dedicated that time to being outside as much as possible and doing things I wouldn’t be able to do when the rain came in.
On the first rainy day of my stay, I walked over to 1912 Pike Place to indulge in the historic Starbucks location. I was prepared to wait in line, but to my surprise, there was no line! 😮
I arrived before 9 a.m. and expected a lengthy chain of people since it was rainy. Who wouldn’t want a warm cup of coffee to kick start a gloomy morning from the place where Starbucks started? But it turned out that 9 a.m. was early.
A man who bombed a video I was filming said if I had arrived there two hours later I would have hit the crazy long line I was expecting.
It took probably one minute at most for me to get to the cashier. And because I got there more quickly than I expected, I was caught off guard and I wasn’t prepared to place my order. In less than a minute, I impulsively decided to go with a mocha latte with no whipped cream. I waited just a few minutes before I got my cup and observed the inside in the meantime.
The inside of the original location is small and there’s no place to sit down. There were over a dozen people inside, but it wasn’t jam packed. There’s also some cool merchandise – like mugs – on the shelves across the cashier that you might consider buying if you love Starbucks or want a memento to bring home with you. (Note: Most of these photos were taken during a second visit to this location, just in case you’re wondering why there aren’t as many people. I couldn’t resist coming back again 😛 )
Whether or not you’re a coffee drinker, if you’ve had Starbucks before and at the very least appreciate the business and/or the beverages it serves, the original Starbucks is worth visiting whenever you find yourself in Seattle. If it’s your first time and you can get there early, I would suggest doing that so you can avoid a long line. And if there
happens to be a line in the morning, then you still have more time left in the day to see and do other things. But if you don’t mind waiting in line – I definitely wouldn’t have minded – then whenever you can make it is cool, too.
Going to the original Starbucks is one of the more touristy things I’ve done traveling, but I enjoyed being a tourist along with the other people who crowded in front of the door to snap photos as evidence that they had been at the location. This is most likely on your list if you’re planning to go to Seattle, but in the rare event that it’s not, I’d recommend squeezing it into your Seattle itinerary 🙂
For more information about the first store on Western Avenue, check out the following links: