The three month-long renovation on the Starbucks across from Rock City was completed just a few weeks ago on March 28, introducing a more modern style to the old building that was once a service station before it was converted to a Starbucks over a decade ago.
You can now find floor-to-ceiling windows, open rafters with copper trim, and an indoor fireplace at this community hub coffee shop. The clean modern look is a big change from the previously cramped accommodations. Not only did the existing building undergo major renovation, there was also additional space added on to create a larger cafe area.
The construction lasted from January 2, 2019 to March 28, 2019 and opened back up for its normal hours from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on March 29, 2019. The cafe space was closed off to the public for the first two months of renovation and then the entire store was closed down for the month of March.
“Everyone was really happy when we opened back up. Since we are the only coffee shop on the mountain and the only Starbucks in the area we are kind of a staple for many of the locals up here,” said barista, Christy Uptain.
The Rock City Starbucks serves a variety of customers including Rock City tourists, mountain locals, and college students.
The renovation includes new tables and chairs, polished cement flooring, an indoor fireplace, charging stations, and new bathrooms.
The bathrooms used to be outside and around the corner as they were originally gas station bathrooms. Now the bathrooms have completely updated appliances and pen-and-ink drawings to match the rest of the store’s aesthetic.
The new seating allows for small and large groupings with wide tables and outlets. There is also a bar along two of the new walls which students can use to study. The fireplace that was previously wood burning outside on the patio has been converted to an indoor gas fireplace.
The work space for the baristas has been slightly expanded but mostly reorganized to improve efficiency.
“We have a lot of new equipment and more counter space. But the biggest benefit is the additional blenders, sinks, and ovens. The old store was nice and cutsie. But it wasn’t really built for the amount of foot traffic that we receive today,” said Uptain.
In addition to the new space and style, they are now offering Nitro Cold Brew and regular cold brew on tap. Since they aren’t a licensed store, they are unable to accept Starbucks rewards, but they do offer $1 regular hot coffees and hot teas if you bring your own mug. A 10% discount to Covenant College students on any of the hand-crafted beverages is also available—just make sure to bring your student ID.