Starbucks Beer & Wine?

Posted: 2010/10/19 in General News
Tags: , , , , ,

SEATTLE — The Starbucks of the future arrived today. Starbucks has renovated one of its Seattle, Wa., locations and, in an attempt to draw more evening customers, is now serving beer and wine inside. The store, located at 1600 East Olive Way in the city’s Capitol Hill area, reopened Monday after months of renovation with alcohol on the menu and an eco-friendly décor

If Starbucks (SBUX) executives have it figured out right, this could be the prototype for the next generation of stores for one of the world’s most influential brands. 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 neighbourhood for years — yet that’s “green” in design and decor. This is the calling card of independent java joints that have been eating and sipping away at Starbucks’ evening business for decades. U.S. Starbucks stores get 70% of business before 2 p.m.

If this location is a hit, some version of it may eventually come to a Starbucks near you. The 16,000-unit chain ranks among the world’s most widely copied brands. When Starbucks sneezes, global pop culture feels the draft. I welcome a Starbucks beer and wine café near me. Either way, it beats below-average overpriced coffee.

Full Article (USA Today) with Video of new store layout HERE


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