The Starbucks Greener Store Located In A Charming 100-Year-Old Virginia House

Out of the many unique Starbucks cafes around the world — like its beachfront location in Muizenberg, South Africa and mini cafes built in shipping containers — one spot stands out in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Anyone who's visited Williamsburg (or recalls their high school history lessons) knows the town was founded back in 1699 and still has many historic buildings — including the 100-year-old house that is part of the coffee giant's Greener Store initiative.

The 100-year-old house located on Williamsburg's Richmond Road opened in September 2023. Before it was a green Starbucks, it was used as the William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research. Per a statement shared with Tasting Table, one senior store designer notes, "Weaving the threads of the past into our contemporary creations ensures that each design tells a story — a story that transcends time and resonates with authenticity."

At a glance, it might look like just another Colonial-style building repurposed as a retail location to match the town's aesthetic, but many eco-friendly measures went into this cafe, and not all of the sustainable features can be seen by consumers. These include the high efficiency appliances, low-emitting paint and sealants, and in-store energy systems like composting and food donation. The Starbucks location runs solely on locally-sourced renewable energy generated from the Fern Solar project a mere 200 hundred miles away in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. The building also features a rainwater collection system used for irrigation outside and furniture made with recycled wood inside.

Starbucks' Downtown Williamsburg cafe combines old-school charm with new-age innovations

The outside of the Williamsburg store showcases white siding and a red-brick patio — sounds rather traditional, right? A closer look shows the metal bins on the side of the building that seem to be part of the irrigation system used to water its plants. It's got the iconic green Starbucks sign above its door, but when you walk in there's a blend of old and new aesthetics. It's quite a swanky location with exposed brick walls, wood-beamed ceilings, and Mid-century style chairs paired with those recycled-wood banquettes. It might not serve the Starbucks menu items in South Korea that we wish we had here in the U.S., but you might score one of those collectible mugs.

If you're wondering about the environmental impact of the Starbucks Greener Stores initiative, we can tell you that these locations meet rigorous standards in eight vital areas such as energy efficiency and using responsibly sourced materials. As of March 2024, Starbucks has 6,091 certified Greener Stores including cafes in Japan, Peru, Turkey, and, of course, Virginia. Throughout the U.S., these locations have cut back water and energy usage by 30% and saved close to $60 million in annual operating costs.

If you happen to be in Williamsburg and want to check out the cafe while you read our ranking of Starbucks snacks and sweets, it's located at 327 Richmond Road and is open daily.