Starbucks will start serving beer and wine in some formerly coffee-only hangouts. As much as people mock "the Starbucks experience," do you like it the way it is, or would you enjoy happy hour in grande and venti proportions?
Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago are the test markets for capital B “Bar-bucks.” For the last year, a small number of stores in the Northwest have been selling wine and beer to customers looking to unwind after a day at work (more-than-caffeine happy hour starts at 4 pm). By the end of the year, select Los Angeles stores will do the same, offering beer for around $5 and wine-by-the-glass for between $7 and $9. KPCC blogger Matthew DeBord (DeBord report) estimates that business will boom for Starbucks, despite the fact that Starbucks will finally have to invest bigtime in washable stemware and flatware.
Can and should Starbucks plan to compete as aggressively with small wine bars as it did with independent coffee shops? How do you feel about making Starbucks your stop for both your morning “go-go-go” and your evening “slow-slow-slow?”
Bryant Simon, author of "Everything But the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks"; professor of History at Temple University
Matt DeBord, KPCC’s business blogger, “The DeBord Report”