Now this is what I call coffee theater.

The 1600 E Olive Way Starbucks—one of Capitol Hill’s premier people-watching/eavesdropping destinations—has been closed for renovations since July.

That means for nearly three months, caffeine-seeking Capitol Hill dwellers have been forced to scavenge for coffee at Stumptown, Online, Caffe Vita, Victrola, Vivace, Bauhaus, B&O Espresso, Top Pot Doughnuts, Cafe Argento, Kaladi Brothers, Liberty Bar, Oddfellows, Elliot Bay Books, the secret Starbucks on 15th Street NW, the other Online Coffee, the other Victrola, the other Stumptown, Porchlight, the secret Starbucks on Roy, Joe Bar, Pettirosso, Cafe Presse, Insomniax Coffee, Tully’s, Peet’s, Volunteer Park Cafe, Cupcake Royale, Cafe Ladro, Dilettante, and a few other places.

The deprivation is over. The new Olive Way Starbucks has re-opened with a revamped interior and exterior, a LEEDS certification, and beer and wine. The counter has been designed to create what Starbucks calls “coffee theater;” espresso machines are installed at the store’s center for maximum drama, baristas make one drink at a time as customers observe.

The Olive Way store is the latest in a string of “enhanced” coffee shops that Starbucks has opened locally—if we like them, boozy ‘bucks with coffee theater may open all over the country. In other words, the nation’s fate is in your hands, Capitol Hill.

PS: Just down the block at Olive and Denny, Arabica Coffee, which opened this August, is serving Stumptown coffee.

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