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Beer And Wine To Be Served At Starbucks

Madeline Morris |
January 25, 2012 | 3:15 p.m. PST

Staff Contributor

Starbucks will sell beer and wine at select shops in the Pacific Northwest and other cities. (Creative Commons/Flickr)
Starbucks will sell beer and wine at select shops in the Pacific Northwest and other cities. (Creative Commons/Flickr)
Want to spice up your next coffee outing?  Head to Starbucks and you could order anything from a Malbec to a Rogue Dead Guy Ale for you and your date in the near future.  

The chain has announced the addition of beer and wine to their menu at select shops--a bold, even controversial move that will change the atmosphere as well as the clientele. 

 Starbucks' alcohol menu is currently being tested in several Seattle shops and one in Portland.  Seattle offers beer for $5 and wines by the glass for $7 to $9.

Shops in Southern California, Atlanta and Chicago plan to provide alcohol by the end of the year. Alcohol will be sold after 2 p.m. on weekdays and after noon on weekends.

And the engineers behind the new “evening” menu realize the need for some tangy cheese to accompany a glass of wine; upscale savory plates and hot flatbreads will also be offered to compliment the experience. 

 Most think of Starbucks as a cerebral place to go to grab a cup of joe and sit down to a book--not to make merry and leave with a stumble in the step. Yet the coffee behemoth is looking to differentiate itself from competitors like Dunkin’ Donuts or Panera Bread. 

“As our customers transition from work to home, many are looking for a warm and inviting place to unwind and connect with the people they care about,” said Clarice Turner, senior vice president of U.S. Operations, in a press release.

As with any change, the idea of booze at a coffee shop is sure to be met with both criticism and praise. Yet so far, things seem to be going well.

“We're pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer, and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we're excited to see how the idea translates to other markets,” said Turner.

Reach Reporter Madeline Morris here.

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