19 Easter Eggs You Can Find Inside Starbucks' Historic Pike Place Store

In case you've never been to Seattle, let us paint the picture for you: It's rainy 90% of the time with a bitter chill that would make anyone snap. Despite that, the people are lovely and the energy is positive. Adorable shops are abundant, you can't get more than two blocks without seeing a puppy on a stroll, and coffee is everywhere. It makes sense one of those local shops would become the household name it is today: Starbucks.

The original Starbucks is unassuming. It's tucked away on a bustling street across from the Pike Place Market (known for selling a lot of fish and flowers) and, unbeknownst to many, Starbucks originally did not sell cups of coffee. Your favorite grande vanilla sweet creme cold brew wasn't a thought in the owners' minds when they opened the shop in 1971. The store offered spices, tea, and coffee beans. Obviously, that's since changed, but the original Starbucks store in Seattle hasn't changed much else. This historic location is a must-see if you're in the area, and not so that you can get the same coffee you would get at your hometown Starbucks. This place is bursting with Easter eggs for you to notice that'll make your trip that much more worth it, so read on to find out what you should know before taking a trip to Pike Place. We spoke with Starbucks PR rep Sam Jefferies and Starbucks Pike Place store manager Josh Dodge to get some insight into this historic store.

It's the only store with the original logo left

Though you may know the Starbucks logo as that cropped-in green and white mermaid, the original one is a bit different. The image of the mermaid is quite zoomed out so that you can see her two tails (we think it's kind of a suggestive image, so we understand why it was changed), and the original color scheme was primarily brown. Not only is the original logo still on the window, but it's on, well, everything.

All of the merchandise (more on that interesting topic in a later slide), and pretty much everywhere you look has the original logo. Another thing you might notice with the logo is that it says "Coffee Tea Spices" on the bottom, which indicates what the store used to originally sell.

The original window design

Before you even step foot in the shop, though, do not just breeze right in like it's your everyday Starbucks — take a look at the window. No, not just to admire the window display, but to look at the actual window. Quite the departure from your typical Starbucks chain, the windows have the original writing on them that say "Cappuccino," "Caffe," and "Latte" among others. As if you wouldn't know what to expect from a Starbucks (actually, it was probably a good idea back in the day, considering the fact the store used to just sell coffee beans and not drinks).

It's just another detail the folks at Pike Place decided to keep in order to maintain the history of the place.

All the finishes are original

Okay, we know what you're thinking: If the logo is original, and the writing on the window is original, what else about this place hasn't changed? Well, the answer to that question is the actual building itself.

According to Josh Dodge, the interior was designed to give off a nautical feel, hence the mermaid logo and the store's location right by the waterfront. The floors reflect that and are a worn light wood. The countertops and built-in shelves are the same, and we think the overall effect is actually quite nautical. The countertops are the same original ones as when the shop opened, as is the address atop the door right when you enter. It's all in the details, people.

Pork 'n Beans watches over the store

What is a Pork 'n Beans and why is it looming over everyone in the store, you may ask? Well, another quirky thing you should know about the Pike Place Market area is that community is everything. At the entrance to the market, there's a giant metal piggy bank (named Rachel the Pig, because of course) that was put there originally as a way to generate funds for the Pike Place Market Foundation, the nonprofit that helps run a lot of the community efforts in the market, Josh Dodge explained to us.

Rachel the Pig is now iconic, and in 2001, there was a fundraiser for the foundation in which many local shops participated. The participation entry? To make your own version of the pig. Starbucks' original store, of course, joined the cause and made Pork 'n Beans, a pig made out of coffee beans. Since then, Pork 'n Beans resides in an alcove above the front door, so when you step into the shop, be sure to look up and behind you to greet this store's mascot.

The wire coat hook has a touching story

A detail you could easily miss, but probably don't want to, is the white wire coat hook nailed on the side of the doorframe inside the shop (if you're in the store facing the door, it's on the left-hand side).

"This coat hook goes unnoticed by almost everyone," Josh Dodge explained. "It's really symbolic to us." The story goes that the 1995 Pike Place Starbucks store manager named Alison Edwards had a regular who would frequently walk to Starbucks and the Pike Place Market from West Seattle (approximately a two-hour walk, give or take a few hills). The customer would always come in wearing a heavy coat (remember that note about Seattle weather) and had a lot of bags with them to do their shopping. One day, "Alison struck up a conversation and said 'Hey, is everything okay?' And the customer said 'Eh, I don't really have anywhere to put my stuff,'" Dodge continued. Before the customer's next visit, Alison decided to run over to the nearest hardware store, buy a coat hook for less than a dollar, and hammered it into the wall (asking for forgiveness rather than permission from the company). When the regular came in and was shown the coat hook, they were apparently brought to tears at the kind gesture. So when you come to this location, take a peek at the coat hook and remind yourself that it's the small kindnesses that matter.

Metal column marking the store as the first

Do you think Starbucks would want people to forget that this is the first location? No. If the original logo, unique merchandise, line wrapped around the block, and general uniqueness of the store weren't enough to tip you off to the fact that this is the very first Starbucks location, there's a giant column with a metal stamp-like engraving to let you know.

The column reads "First Starbucks Store," and "Established 1971" is written at the bottom. It's a very ornate, kind of hard-to-miss Easter egg, but if you're in the shop at peak rush hour, there's a chance you may overlook it. It's located on the corner of the barista bar right at the front when you walk in through the door.

Brass plaques are original

If you recall, we mentioned that Starbucks didn't start out with making coffee and serving it to people. What the folks there did, instead, was sell coffee beans, tea (like ground tea and tea leaves), and bags of spices to customers. An easy yet efficient way to display those coffee beans was by putting them in glass cases angled underneath the counter with little brass plaques stating which blends were in which glass cases. Over the years, some of the plaques have been replaced due to various reasons including being so worn you couldn't read them anymore, but many original ones remain. You can tell which ones are original by the font differences. The ones with the font in the image above are the original ones.

The first-ever Starbucks advertisement is framed on the wall

Can you imagine opening up your local newspaper and seeing an advertisement for Starbucks? Honestly, we can't (because it's not a hidden-treasure local spot anymore), but the business needed to employ marketing skills in order to become the behemoth it is today. Enter: The first advertisement. Featured in the "Pike Place Market Shopping Guide And News," Starbucks's first-ever ad detailed a simple image of the original logo with the slogan "Coffee. Tea. Spices." You'll find this advertisement lovingly framed on the wall near the entrance of the shop in the first cubby area of the merchandise section. Next to the framed ad, you'll see another frame. This one is of the original one-pound coffee bag. Starbucks is certainly sentimental, and we're here for it.

All signs and menu board are handwritten in chalk

Even the simplest things you might take for granted at your usual Starbucks do not go unnoticed here. It makes sense for a huge business with thousands of locations to have pre-printed and ready-to-go signs for its stores. But at the original Pike Place Starbucks location, nothing is overlooked. All the signage you see in the store is handwritten, from the entire menu board all the way to the merchandise signs. The signs are beautifully written in a script font on the chalkboard, making it easy to change them up if needed. The store's menu is still the same as any other Starbucks you would go to (minus the food items, but more on that later), so you can still get your blonde roast or your iced shaken espresso. The items are just written on the board by hand like the baristas all used to do.

There's an original metal bean scooper on display

Another Easter egg you can't (and shouldn't) miss is the metal bean scooper and tray, located directly below the first-ever advertisement and framed original one-pound coffee bag. This was how the shop workers used to get your beans to go for you. Before the days of pre-packaged whole beans (though you can still always get them ground for free), you would point to the blend you wanted in the glass display case (remember the brass plaques?), and then the worker would take a metal scoop like the one displayed, put a scoop or more into a bag (remember the framed one-pound coffee bag?), weigh it out, seal the bag shut, and then hand it to you.

Baristas throw your cups

If you think you've seen it all, just wait for this next detail. The Pike Place Starbucks experience goes as follows: You wait in the line, enter the door, take note of Pork 'n Beans, the coat hook, and the original Starbucks metal column, ponder at the framed first Starbucks ad, peruse over to the merchandise area and pick any items you want. Then, you make your way up to the (quite tall) counter and order your drink with the barista. After that, you move over to the left side to wait for your drink to be made and your name to be famously called out. But wait — what's that flying in the air? Is that your cup? Yes, that is your cup.

After the cashier writes your name and order on the cup (whether it be a hot cup or cold cup), they throw your cup to the barista waiting to catch it and then make your drink. This is done at this location as an homage to the Pike Place Market, where fish are famously thrown from one worker to another as part show (there's quite the crowd watching them), part efficiency. The Starbucks baristas also do this because it genuinely does cut down on time, as the space is quite small and can be hard to move around in. A note: They won't toss your reusable cup if you give them one, but if you ask them to, there's a chance they say yes and will throw it just for you.

The Howard Schutlz quote on the wall

In the waiting area of Starbucks as you're patiently watching your drink being made, take a look at the wall directly next to you, and you'll see a quote that reads "This is where it all began ... My dream to build a company that fosters respect and dignity, to create a place where we can all come together over a cup of coffee. Onward with love," and the Howard Schultz's signature is seen below. If you're unfamiliar, Howard Schultz is the guy who made Starbucks what it is today, had the vision for it, and ran with it. In 2018, he retired from the company, which is when this quote was added to the wall. However, he actually came back again to the company in 2022, so who knows if they'll make put an updated quote here at some point.

No food is sold here

Do not plan to get your usual egg white bites here! In fact, don't plan to get any food at this location, as none is served. The reason for this, according to Sam Jefferies, is the original lease did not permit the sale of food. This made sense for the shop's original purposes of selling tea, coffee, and spices, but after many Starbucks locations across the globe started selling food (and it becoming a successful part of its business model), the folks at Pike Place decided to stick to the tradition of the location and just make coffee for you. If you want a delicious bite to eat with your cup of Joe, head to any of the local food spots on the block or in the Pike Place Market (we recommend Piroshky Piroshky right next door to Starbucks).

There's a special blend here

If you have a cup of coffee (or three) every day, you've probably picked up on how different brewing methods can change the flavors, or how much of a difference different blends can make. Even if you don't have keen attention to detail with coffee, we're sure you'll notice the difference in this particular blend. Unique to this Pike Place location (the only other place you can get it is the Starbucks on First and Pike just down the street in Seattle), the special Pike Place Reserve Blend (as the folks there call it) is a distinct blend that the coffee masters at this Starbucks location actually came up with. And let us say — it is so worth the hype. Make sure to order this blend in whatever coffee you typically get (just ask for your usual order and then say "can you use the special Pike Place Reserve coffee?") for the ultimate Pike Place experience.

A note from Josh Dodge: Once you're done with the indoor Pike Place Starbucks experience, have a sip of the brew standing outside and take in the sounds and smells of Pike Place. It's a fun experience.

There's more to the merch than meets the eye

Even if you're not a Starbucks tumbler collector, you'll want to get a piece of merchandise from this store. All of the merchandise, from mugs to tumblers to pins and more, features the original brown logo. Not only that, but all of the merch is completely unique to this store and can only be bought here — it's not sold by Starbucks online.

Another interesting thing to note about the merch is that the specific designs actually change about every three years, but it always keeps the original logo on it. If, sadly, you happen to break your brand new Pike Place Starbucks mug in your suitcase on the way home from traveling to Seattle, contact the store, and the folks there may be able to replace it for you.

Also at this store is that you'll notice a ton of brown cardboard boxes stacked in various places around the shop. These boxes all actually hold the merchandise, and there's a reason they're not stored in the back like at every other Starbucks location — there's no room! The back area of this shop is actually a shared space with the other businesses in the building, so the boxes are kept up front.

All the baristas are coffee masters (or training to be)

The baristas at this Pike Place Starbucks location are not just your typical baristas. Aside from the fact they probably know a bit more about the history of the place, in fact, they are all certified coffee masters (or at least in training to be). At Starbucks, a coffee master is someone who has gone through an extra course of training to learn more about the art of coffee and making it. After completing that certification, instead of the typical green apron the baristas wear, the coffee master gets to wear a black apron. So whenever you see a Starbucks worker wearing a black apron at any location, know that they are a master in coffee.

The barista bar is higher so you can watch them make your drink

If you walk into the building and are thinking to yourself "Huh, is this barista bar any higher than usual? Something's different here," you would be absolutely correct. This barista bar (the name of the space where the baristas make your coffee and where you go up to the register to order it) was designed to be at an elevated level above the customers. This is so that you can more clearly see the baristas (ahem, coffee masters) make your favorite drinks, and they're not as hidden behind the big espresso machines. 

If you've never been to the Pike Place location, don't worry — the barista bar isn't so high that you can't reach the register to tap your phone to pay. It's just designed so you can have a more memorable experience and watch the coffee masters do their thing.

The locals get here early to avoid the very, very long line

A famous element of this Pike Place location is the ridiculously long line. If you've ever had a friend or family member visit this location, we're sure the first thing out of their mouth was something about the line stretching all the way around the block. Luckily, the line is just a part of the experience, and it shouldn't last for too long. Also, there are actually Starbucks greeters who are there to answer any questions you have while in line and to tell you a bit more about the historic store. An insider tip, though, if you want to skip the line, is to just get there early. Arriving before 9:30 a.m. will mean there's little to no line at all, and you can take as many pictures inside as you want before the hustle and bustle arrives. Get there as early as you can like the locals do to avoid the line.