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Skip the lines at the original Starbucks store and head for the Starbucks Center

A sunny day at the Starbucks world headqaurters
A sunny day at the Starbucks world headqaurters
Logan Bingle

When coffee fans come to Seattle they head for the original Starbucks store in Pike Place Market. This leads to a packed store with a line that can easily wrap around the block. If you want to avoid long lines consider heading for the Starbucks Center on 1st avenue instead.

From Pike Place Market, walk away from the Puget Sound until you reach 3rd Avenue. Take either the 21 bus to Westwood Village or the 116 bus to Vashon Island. A 25 minute bus ride will bring you to the Starbucks Center at Lenora and 1st Avenue, which serves as the world headquarters of the Starbucks Coffee Company.

The Starbucks Center is located in the former Sears Building. As reported by the Seattle Times, the main structure was built in 1912 by the Union Pacific Railroad to entice Sears to Seattle. Sears moved in and used the building as the center of its Northwest Magazine distribution center until 1987.

The developer Nitze-Stagen purchased the property in 1990 and renovated the building. Starbucks moved into the Sears Building in 1993 when it out grew its Airport Way packing plant. Starbucks made the Sears Building its permanent home in 1997, signing a long term lease and renaming the building the Starbucks Center.

Today, the center hosts a tree covered plaza and Starbucks store. This is a perfect place to sit on a sunny day while sipping your favorite mixed coffee beverage. The Starbucks Center plaza is also a perfect place to people watch as a constant stream of Starbucks employees move in and out of the building.

If you want to experience Starbucks in Seattle consider skipping the crowds and long lines at the original store in Pike Place Market and head for the Starbucks Center. The center provides the same coffee but in a relaxed, urban environment.

Other attractions around the Starbucks Center include the Living Computer Museum, Macrina Bakery and Safeco Field.

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