My dream is about to come true: I can head into Starbucks in the morning for my double-tall-dry-cap and stay until the evening and order a nice dry cab. Because Starbucks will soon be selling beer and wine at four to six new or remodeled stores in Southern California. Clear off one of those comfy leather couches, people – I’m moving in.
The new alcoholic selections – slated to be in the region by the end of 2012 – will also be accompanied by new “premium food” items that will include savory snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads. Scheduled to also come to a small group of locations in Atlanta and Chicago, the boozy menu is already being tested at Starbucks in its hometown of Seattle, and offers beers for $5 and wines by the glass for $7 to $9 in five locations in that city and one in Portland, Oregon. Beer choices include Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and the wine menu features a Pinot Noir from Oregon, a Prosecco from Italy and a Malbec from Argentina. Can I still order that as a tall, slightly dry and with no foam?
Starbucks said its target vibe is “relaxation” and I see the upcoming changes as a way to take the chain in a new direction – less coffeehouse, more café or bistro. In other words, you’ll still get a buzz, but from a wider selection of beverages. (While all of the beer and wine will be kept behind the counter and not on shelves or in display cases, patrons under age 21 will still be allowed inside.) And it appears they’re going for the crowd that’s looking to start kicking back earlier in the day – the proposed locations will begin serving alcohol after 2 p.m. on weekdays and after noon on weekends, depending on local regulations. Seeing as I’m still sipping my espresso drink at 6pm, looks like I’ll be catching the later side of cocktail hour.
And no need to worry about not finding a Starbucks near you – the company expects to open 800 new stores around the world in 2012, half of them in the Americas. Cheers!
See their website for locations
When she isn’t sitting on a couch at Starbucks, Marsha can be found at Sweatpantsmom.com
Post and Photo: Marsha Takeda-Morrison