Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.
Starbucks shelves stealth cafe names, sticks with wine and beer
Posted by Melissa Allison
Remember last summer, when East Coast news crews rushed to Seattle to cover the first Starbucks that isn't a Starbucks? Called 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea, it has a rustic look, a creative local menu including wine and beer, and regular evening entertainment. A few months later came Roy Street Coffee & Tea, also on Capitol Hill.
Starbucks will keep those stores, which it calls "learning labs," but has shelved plans to open a third.
Instead, it is remodeling its popular East Olive Way store on Capitol Hill, which will feature an outdoor deck and a 360-degree barista bar in the middle. It will be the first Starbucks-branded cafe to sell wine and beer, and there will be live entertainment.
Here's the story I wrote for today's paper. One thing I didn't mention: The garden outside the remodeled store will feature interesting native plants that fit with a P-Patch the city is planning for the parking lot just north of Starbucks.
Olive Way has long been a test store; now it will test some of Starbucks' most cutting-edge ideas, under the Starbucks name.
Update: Check out the commenters attacking each other's taste, including this jab: "While you're nursing your preciously made cup by the Stumptown snot, I wonder if you're wearing clothes from some other indies like, Levis, Nike, Hanes, Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Diesel, DKNY, Lucky....or perhaps you have a knitting machine strung with fair trade yak yarn next to your home roaster and french press."
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