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Starbucks opening first Princi Italian bakery in Chicago

Starbucks will open the first Chicago location of Princi, an Italian bakery and cafe, on Tuesday in Fulton Market. The counter-service restaurant menu will include coffee, but also meals, changing from breakfast to lunch to an early evening bar with beer, wine, cocktails and snacks. Focaccia-based pizzas by the slice and desserts will also be available.

The announcement comes a week after the opening of the first Starbucks in Italy with the stunning Milan Roastery shop. The Italian city is also home to Princi, where there are six locations.

The Chicago location — actually three concepts in one with Princi, Starbucks Reserve and Bar Mixato — will face stiff competition not only from other restaurants but an existing Starbucks across the street. Next door Sweetgreen makes salads and grain bowls to order. On the opposite corner La Colombe Coffee Roasters cafe pulls perfect espressos and just brought back its seasonal pumpkin spice draft latte by the can. One block away, the McDonald’s HQ global menu restaurant opened with an Australian McCafe serving flat whites in April. Plus there are Forno Rosso’s Neapolitan pizzas and Nonna’s slices and Parmesan subs nearby.

The world’s largest Starbucks is scheduled to open in Chicago on Michigan Avenue in the former four-story Crate &Barrel building next year. While Princi touts on-site baking, a separate central kitchen is also planned on the Near North Side at a closed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school building to service the Chicago Roastery and future bakery locations. The Princi is the first outside of Starbucks’ home base of Seattle.

Princi will be open weekdays 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekends 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Princi, 1000 W. Randolph St.,

By By Louisa Chu, Chicago Tribune


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