In the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan, one Starbucks is unlike the rest.
The two-story café, located inside the Circles Ginza building, is the coffee chain’s first attempt at a coworking space. Though the bottom floor is exactly what you expect when you walk into a Starbucks — a to-go counter where you can order food and drinks or pick up your mobile order — the top floor is decked out with everything you could want or need to get through the workday.
Designed in collaboration with ThinkLab, the second floor of the café features private booths, larger meeting areas and welcoming sofas. And if all of this sounds familiar, that’s because it is: As Fast Company pointed out, Starbucks Japan’s latest endeavor is essentially just “a WeWork with more drink options and without the monthly rent.”
According to a press release, the Starbucks/ThinkLab collaboration has four private phone booths with videoconferencing capabilities, all of which are available to book in advance in 40-minute intervals. For groups of coworkers, there’s also the Smart Lounge, which is equipped with projectors and conference phone speakers. And if you need some peace and privacy to focus, you can rent one of Think Lab’s 17 solo spaces, available at ¥300/15 minutes (~$2.83/15 minutes).
For many people who are stuck working from home for the foreseeable future, a Starbucks café optimized for coworking is a dream come true. Unless you live in Tokyo, though, it really is just a dream: Starbucks told Fast Company that they don’t currently have plans to replicate the Ginza café.
If you’re really itching to get out of the house and return to a semblance of normality, WeWork recently announced a new pay-as-you-go membership called WeWork on Demand, which offers workspaces at only $29 per day. Currently, the flexible booking option is available at 12 WeWork locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
If you enjoyed this story, watch this Starbucks barista explain how to order a “secret” Pokémon-themed drink.
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