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2007/04/03

Starbucks in Beijing - A Look at the Different Locations

Those that know me or are regular readers of this blog know that I have a terribly cheesy and also very sarcastic sense of humor. This post is probably going to be another example of that, but hopefully it can elicit one or two smiles. Wang Jian Shuo, one of my great influences, once did a Starbucks tour around Beijing, visiting a number of the outlets in one day, I've done a similar tour, but I drove myself crazy trying to figure out how to use the wirless internet at Starbucks in Beijing, going from Starbucks to China Telecom back to a different Starbucks trying to get answers as to how the hell ot do it, until I eventually found a brochure and realized how insane it was (not sure what the prices are today). He also does a good job taking a look at the best of Shanghai's Starbucks without the same sarcasm that I apply when looking at those in Beijing.

I like Starbucks from time to time, for one, its sort of comforting to know the drink I'm getting in Beijing is the same as what I'd get in Paris or Chicago or anywhere else. I know some hate this and me being all about locally sourced ingredients and sustaining communities should hate this, but it is comforting at times. In China, it also serves as a really great place to meet for almost any purpose or a place to stop and right, or just sit down and relax for awhile.

According to Starbucks' website, there are outlets in 20 different cities in China, with the 2nd most (54) in Beijing (Shanghai has the most with 89, and I swear, from almost any point in Shanghai, if you walk 10 minutes in any direction, its damn near impossible not to end up coming across a Starbucks). While I haven't been to all of the Beijing Starbucks, I've been to many of them, and these are my observations (feel free to offer your own suggestions on nicknames):
-The "Most Controversial Starbucks Ever" Starbucks - Forbidden City

-The "secret" Starbucks - basement of Grand Pacific Plaza, Xidan

-The "always packed, only good for carryout 1" Starbucks - Zhongyou, Xidan

-The "BIG" Starbucks - Parksons, Fuxingmen

-The "only because there are no good seats at RBT" Starbucks - New World, Chongwenmen

-The "I Hate Starbucks because I blame it for closing down my beloved Cosmo" Starbucks - Lotus Lane, Shichahai

-The "tiny" Starbucks 1 - JianGuoMen, Scitech Office Building

-The "foreign businessman's" Starbucks - Guomao

-The "I'm so sad it closed down/Starbucks with the best view" otherwise known as the "heavenly" Starbucks - across from East Church, Wangfujing

-The "why the hell am I here?" Starbucks - basement of XinDongAn, Wangfujing

-The "free wireless internet" otherwise known as the "always packed, only good for carryout 2" Starbucks - DongFang GuangChang, Wangfujing

-The "tiny" Starbucks 2 - Kerry Center

-The "tourists" Starbucks - Friendship Store

-The "how does it stay in business?" Starbucks - Time Square, Xidan

-The "Chinese diplomat's" Starbucks - Full Link Plaza, Chaoyangmen

-The "ESL teaching center" Starbucks otherwise known as the "student's" Starbucks - Modern Plaza, across from Renda

-The "before/after drinking at Sanlitun" Starbucks - Pacific Century, Gongti Bei Lu

-The "empty" Starbucks otherwise known as "Chinese only" Starbucks 1 - Sogo, Xuanwumen

-The "empty" Starbucks otherwise known as "Chinese only" Starbucks 2 - Guiyou Mansion, Fangzhuang

-The "I went to Beijing and all I got you is this stupid Starbucks Cup" Starbucks - International Terminal, Capital Airport

-The "I got here on time but as usual the flight is delayed by 3 hours but I don't want to get hammered" Starbucks - Terminal 1, Capital Airport

-The "foreign wives club" Starbucks - Lido Hotel

-The "I came up from the subway and want coffee" Starbucks - Guiyou, Jianguomenwai

-The "new Starbucks on the block" Starbucks - China Resourses Center, Jianguomen

10 comments:

Mark said...

I like the "forbidden Starbucks!" (bottom pic of the post).

ChinaLawBlog said...

You couldn't even think about doing this in Seattle, where many buildings have two Starbucks. My old building had two Starbucks and one more right across the street.

But they all do have their own certain personality. My kids favorite here in Seattle is the one at the University Village which is rumored to also be in a dogfight with a four story one on the Ginza for the highest sales.

b. cheng said...

Mark, thanks for stopping by and for the picture of that Starbucks!

b. cheng said...

CLB, well, we have you and your city to thank (or blame) for the huge Starbucks trend (then again, Chicago should play a role in that because the 1st non-Seattle Starbucks was in Chicago). I think too many of the Starbucks in big cities in the US lack that personality because there is one on every corner and very rarely will people go there and sit for awhile, most of them are like the Starbucks at Scitech or Kerry with very few seats. But in China, Starbucks attracts such a huge cross section of the population to just go in and sit down, so you see couples next to rich wives taking a break from shopping next to businessmen having a meeting next to foreigners banging away at their laptops...

Lorra said...

I can't believe there are so many Starbucks in China! Well, about as many as there chinese buffets here! I hope chinese like the coffee there, I really do!

Lorra said...

I can't believe there are so many Starbucks in China! Well, about as many as there chinese buffets here! I hope chinese like the coffee there, I really do!

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