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Starbucks reopens its coffee shops in Italy, but Milan’s Roastery remains closed

Starbucks Italy
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan

MILAN – Starbucks on Monday said that it would reopen its cafes in Italy, as the country is finally emerging from the West’s first coronavirus lockdown, with commercial shops, barbers, restaurants and cafés reopening for the first time since March 10. However, the coffee chain giant said that its flagship location in Milan would remain closed for the time being.

Starbucks said it would open its cafes in Milan and the one in the northern city of Turin but would still keep shut its monumental Roastery, inaugurated in September 2018, as well as the location at the city’s Malpensa airport.

Starbucks like other businesses and stores had pulled down its shutters in Italy in March following the coronavirus outbreak. Italy became the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe with the country under complete lockdown more than two months.

The company said the way the stores will be operated keeping in mind safety issues. “How we operate these stores will look and feel different,” the company said adding that the store operations would follow the government’s rules for the sector and also maintain social distancing.

Customers will be able to sit at the tables so long they maintain social distancing, but all beverages will be served in takeaway paper cups.

All baristas will be serving coffee wearing masks and gloves and the company will encourage contactless payment. In Turin, Starbucks will offer only takeaway beverages.

The reopening date of the Roastery, which offers an immersive experience and encourages customers to linger and enjoy the expansive space, is yet to be decided.

“Now is not the time to reopen it”, the chain said in a statement.