Mitsubishi Electric spiral escalator, the first in the U.S. Midwest, helps distinguish the largest Starbucks in the world on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

by Kaija Wilkinson
photos courtesy of Starbucks

Mitsubishi Electric’s Inazawa Works factory in Japan manufactured the components of the 15-ft, 4-in.-tall spiral escalator serving the largest Starbucks retail store in the world — the five-story, 35,000-ft2 Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery on the city’s Magnificent Mile at Michigan Avenue. Work began on the single spiral unit in March 2018 before the components arrived onsite. Mitsubishi Electric installation teams then got to work assembling the impressive system, a process that took approximately four months; that’s not even counting the time devoted to work by the local and factory engineering teams. Mitsubishi Electric U.S. Eastern Region Director Mike Eden estimated the project had been in the works for at least three years. “Starbucks wanted something that would stand out and be impressive,” he says.