An Ode to Starbucks Evenings

Shoutout to my favorite Evanston hangout for becoming even better than I thought it could ever get.

While living in Evanston over the summer, I probably sat in the downtown Evanston Starbucks at least 4 days a week. Not only is there free wifi, coffee and tea of all sorts and lots of strangers to keep me company, but the coffeehouse itself is gorgeous. The tables are shiny and dark, and there’s a raised platform toward the back where patrons can gaze upon historic photos of Evanston and the Northwestern campus from the 19th century.

I thought I loved it too much to start, but then they introduced Starbucks Evenings. This initiative is part of a national phenomenon throughout several larger Starbucks locations in the United States to turn Starbucks into the classiest neighborhood coffee bar come 4 p.m. It means friends can gather after dinner or work and chat over wine and small plates without having to make dinner reservations. Part of it is probably because the coffee chain wants to get more evening traffic to match the morning coffee rush, but no matter why they started Starbucks Evenings, I know I love it already.

Although I have a few months until I turn 21 and can enjoy the wine and beer selection offered here, I already love the small plates thing. Being a gold rewards member with lots of Starbucks gift card credit, I decided to stop by Starbucks last night after working out. Intending to pick up a Refresher, I decided to throw in the bacon-wrapped dates plate because why not?

The team member who prepared my dates plate brought it out to me, along with silverware and napkins, and it was lovely. The balsamic glaze latticed across the plate accented the skewered dates. While I wished there were a few more bacon-wrapped dates than the 4 I got, I understand why they call it a “small plate” appetizer. They were piping hot and very well-balanced in flavor between smoky and sweet.

Who needs a Frappuccino when you can get bacon at Starbucks?

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