Former Defense Department General Counsel Appointed Harvard’s Top Lawyer


Democracy Center Protesters Stage ‘Emergency Rally’ with Pro-Palestine Activists Amid Occupation


Harvard Violated Contract With HGSU in Excluding Some Grad Students, Arbitrator Rules


House Committee on China to Probe Harvard’s Handling of Anti-CCP Protest at HKS


Harvard Republican Club Endorses Donald Trump in 2024 Presidential Election

With Additional Floor, New Starbucks Takes It To The Next Level

Third Location in Harvard Square To Feature Live Bands, Group Seating

By Kerry M. Flynn, Crimson Staff Writer

Starbucks will open another location in Harvard Square in late May—a two-level shop open until 1 a.m. that will host live music and coffee tastings in the evenings.

The new store, the third Starbucks to open in Harvard Square, is located at the corner of JFK Street and Mass. Ave.

With extended hours and two floors of seating, the designers and operators of the new Starbucks location hope that the new store will become a hub for students and coffee enthusiasts.


The two-floor design is a special feature of select Starbucks stores often found in busy cities, such as Washington, D.C.

“It’s very location-specific. It’s not something you would go out and look for but it’s when you see a location that has the opportunity,” says Stacey L. Krum, a Starbucks spokesperson.

The first floor will operate as a traditional Starbucks with limited seating for people who want to get a cup of coffee or grab a snack.

On the second floor, seating options will include two community tables—designed to appeal to students and other customers who need extra work space—as well as smaller tables for individual or small-group work. Customers will be able to pull the smaller tables together for more group seating.

There will also be soft seating, couches, lounge areas, and café tables.

“I tried to create many different zones depending on what people want,” says Kambiz Hemati, the concept designer of the new store.

The tables will also be equipped with electrical outlets, and the store will offer free Wi-Fi.

Both floors will feature the Clover brewing system—found only in some stores—in which special batches of coffee are brewed one cup at a time.

“When Starbucks partners finda coffee with a particular interesting flavor, it’s sold on its own. There will be enough to do these small batches,” Krum says.

The specialty coffee is sold as a “Starbucks Reserve coffee” and includes varieties such as Kona Coffee and Papua New Guinea Arokara.

The coffee bar upstairs will operate mainly at night for tastings and samplings of the special brews. The second floor will also feature a stage for live music performances and readings.

“Our mission is that the entertainment will support the coffee vibe,” says C. Shane Sykes, the general manager of the new store.

Sykes, who worked for Starbucks previously at the Memorial Drive location, says he is particularly excited about the new Harvard Square location due to the complexity of the two-story set-up and the opportunity to host coffee seminars that are open to the public.

“The second floor is a special opportunity to deliver a unique coffee experience,” Sykes says.


Though the new store will be the third Starbucks in Harvard Square and the seventh store in Cambridge, Sykes says the new location will be a little over 3,000 square feet and be more open compared to the other more crowded locations. The second floor windows will overlook Harvard Square.

“I guarantee that the second floor is the best view in Cambridge with huge windows. We’ll take advantage of that by having two soft seating chairs and a low table in front of a window,” Hemati says.

The store will be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. to appeal to late night customers.

Sykes says he does not think the new store will take away profits from other Starbucks locations in Harvard Square.

“Each store has its individual set of regulars, but the beauty of Starbucks is that we share those regulars,” Sykes says.


Krum says that the design of the new store will set it apart from the other Square locations.

“It’s not the traditional look and feel people have gotten used to,” Krum says.

Krum says the new design will capture the culture of Cambridge and Harvard Square.

“We don’t want the stores to all look alike. We want them to fit better in each community that they serve,” Hemati says. “I’ve tried to make the store specific to the people that are going to use it, mainly students.”

The design team has been enthusiastic about working with the building’s historic architecture, says Krum, adding that the new store will be certified according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, which evaluate how environmentally friendly a building is. The store will use recycled materials, reclaimed furniture, and barn wood.

Hemati is in the process of looking for art that relates to the history of Harvard Square to decorate the walls, including an old picture of the building. The building is one of the oldest structures in Harvard Square.

Sykes has joined the Harvard Square Business Association and has focused on socializing and networking in the community with local organizations. Starbucks will contribute to several community-oriented events, including an event with Teen Empowerment in Somerville and Cycle Kids in Harvard Square.

“[Sykes] seemed to be incredibly committed to the Square community, especially since he grew up in Cambridge,” said Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association. “He has a long history here, and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

The location has significant meaning to Sykes, who was born in Cambridge. Sykes’ mother managed a coffee shop in 1972 on JFK Street, and Sykes served his first cup of coffee in Harvard Square at age six.

“It’s like going full circle. We’re very excited to be in the heart of the Square,” Sykes says.

—Staff writer Kerry M. Flynn can be reached at

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Harvard Square