Starbucks to Offer Beer and Wine?

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

Do you think this is a good idea?

USA Today reports:

“A very different kind of Starbucks is on tap. It will serve regional wine and beer. It offers an expansive plate of locally made cheeses — served on china. The barista bar is rebuilt to seat customers up close to the coffee.

Most conspicuously, the place looks less like a Starbucks and more like a cafe that’s been part of the neighborhood for years — yet that’s “green” in design and decor.”

You can read the full article here.

26 Comment

  • can’t wait for the overpriced Virginia wine served with a nice plate of attitude

  • venti cab frank pls.

  • its the end of the world! These alcohol pushing coffee shops will have drunkards hanging out in the park! Loud worldbeat playing all night and drunk baristas contributing to crime by beating up old ladies who had to walk 3 extra blocks to church because they couldnt find a place to park!.

  • Will they have to hire bouncers who can take care of drunken brick throwers?

  • I still don’t think a dress code will have any impact on the hobo squatters. Most of them already wear ties anyway.

    • Too true. I won’t give money to anyone whose shoes and jacket are nicer than mine, so I rarely give money out anymore.

  • Starbucks tried this in Seattle ten years ago with Cafe Starbucks. It failed very quickly.
    While the two tests were nothing like the great local stores around them (Cafe Victrola!) they did a really good job of appearing to be local. Beyond that they reflected the neighborhood and were much more authentic than the McDonalds-esque Starbucks that are so ubiquitous.

    In this economy where most people can’t afford big-ticket luxury items I think this is very smart. The Economist had a nice right up on Panera and how successful they are in this down economy.

    It’ll be interesting to see where they go next.

    • Go Seattle! I’ve probably spent years of my life in Victrola. Starbucks recently launched a really similar project to the ill-fated Cafe Starbucks that’s been a lot more successful. A few blocks down from Victrola, you can find “15th Avenue Coffee” (in small print below, “inspired by Starbucks). It’s the same crappy coffee, but they have decent beer, and the atmosphere is vastly improved.

  • Really Starbucks? There’s not enough margin on your crappy coffee beans that you need to expand to liquor?

    Maybe they’re thinking about the people. Maybe their going to heal the racial wounds in this city by combining our historic love of neighborhood liquor stores with our new found love of “lattes and internet blogs” into a single establishment.


  • Alcohol or not, they’re still evil.

  • i think everywhere should serve alcohol.

    • Seriously! You can get beer/wine at McD’s in Europe, why not be able to get a Four Loko with your Big Mac here?

  • It’s about time they start offering things like free wi-fi, and decent food, and beer and wine. The $4 latte business model can only work for so long.

  • I think it would be smart to start offering beer and wine in some of the DC locations. DC’s more prominent Starbucks (Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle) are located next to a Cosi, which does serve alcohol, so they are probably losing some business to them. However, I can’t see this being too successful in the suburbs– hard to imagine going to a cookie-cutter Starbucks in a strip mall for a glass of wine.

    • However, I think cheap wine and nice soups/sandwiches would sell better than local wines and cheese plates.

    • It’s hard to imagine going to a cookie-cutter Starbucks anywhere, for anything, in my opinion. I’d walk 10 blocks to avoid patronizing that evil, predatory corporation. But hey, that’s obviously just me.

    • How so? People in the suburbs love dem some cookie cutter strip mall everything.

  • This has been a long time coming. I only go to Starbucks if I have to. I go to places like Cosi or Tryst because I want to.

  • Alcohol and coffee are an interesting combination.

    Starting with one shot of caffeine along with a shot of alcohol, it will make one wide-eye drunk at the S-buck. I like it!

  • Come for the wine and beer, stay for the smell of coffee corrupting your taste buds and the smell that will linger on your clothes.

    This is the reason, I’ve also yet to try SOVA

  • Alcohol has a nice high profit margin. This makes perfect sense. Sometimes a Starbucks is the only sign of advanced civilization (in a place like, say, La Plata) and it’s a place where people can get together just to get out of their house.
    I prefer Java House on Q, their house-roasted coffee is the bomb.

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