updated 06:35 pm EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Now located near original HQ building, new cafe is off-limits to outsiders
Employee tweets, photos and Foursquare check-ins have revealed that the new, two-years-in-the-making private cafeteria for Apple employees only -- also named "Caffé Macs" like the original at 1 Infinite Loop headquarters -- is now open for business. The new cafeteria will enforce a strict policy of no visitors, creating a private social environment where managers and engineers can talk about projects otherwise forbidden in areas where visitors are allowed. The new building is located within walking distance of many Apple offices.
The building appears to be something of a model for the eventual larger cafeteria that will exist inside the forthcoming "Campus 2" headquarters, currently being built and expected to open in 2016, and is located at the intersection of Alves and Bandley Drives. It is, like several current Apple Stores, dominated by large sheets of glass, a thin aluminum or steel roof, and wood and stone elements -- and was designed by the same architectural firm, Foster and Partners. The project was begun in 2012 under Director of Real Estate Facilities Dan Whisenhunt, who said that the building would be a safe haven for employees to discuss their work without eavesdropped snippets being relayed to social networks or other press outlets.
Meal from the Alves Caffé Macs
Apple always refers to its on-campus cafeterias as Caffé Macs, and operates several around Cupertino, as its workforce there has outgrown the main campus and moved on to other leased and bought facilities. Another operates at the Austin, Texas campus. The new building is referred to as "Alves Caffé Macs," but is functioning as a test of the facility that will be inside the giant "spaceship" building known as Campus 2. The cafeteria there is expected to be some eight times larger and will span two floors, but "we wanted everyone to experience the feeling of the new campus now," said Whisenhunt.
The Alves store features a full kitchen, an espresso bar and a self-serve area, as well as "wonderful" indoor and outdoor seating, all modelled as a smaller-scale version of the one coming to the new campus. "Among Alves Caffe Macs' most distinctive elements are the beautiful high ceilings, stone walls, glass facade and terrazzo floors - all design signatures of Apple Campus 2," the company said in a memo to employees. "The team is excited to start using new, state-of-the-art equipment at Alves Caffè Macs, some of which is being imported from Europe and deployed in the US for the first time."
"The equipment plays a big part in the execution of the food, and this equipment is phenomenal -- everything from a Danish coffee machine that is operated from the customer's iPhone to an Italian double arm dough mixer for European-style breads," said Francesco Longoni, the head of the Food Services team. "The kitchen looks like a lab."
The company was also quick to trumpet the environmentally-friendly design, which features "a new, energy-efficient compactor that will reduce trash volume by as much as 85 percent, and compost everything possible." Apple also notes that the new facility is just "a short walk or bike ride from all the buildings on Infinite Loop, Valley Green, Bandley and Mariani. In fact, it's as close to DA3 as Caffe Macs at Infinite Loop is. There's even underground parking and a lunchtime shuttle service."