July 17, 2009

Starbucks location to serve booze

Starbucks said one of its Seattle stores will serve a variety of beer and wine as part of its effort to rebrand the location as a locally-oriented cafe.

The store, set to reopen next week after renovations under the new name 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea, will offer a half dozen varieties of beer and wine in an attempt to expand business during the slow evening hours, USA Today reported Friday.

Major Cohen, senior project manager at Starbucks, said a bottle of beer or a glass of wine will sell for between $4 and $7. He said Starbucks is planning to open two similar locations in the Seattle area and the concept could be spread to other cities if it proves successful.

We'll be equally as proud of our beer and wine as we are of our coffee, Cohen said. However, he said beer and wine orders will not be made available to go as a result of state laws.

USA Today said the moves come amid recession-linked troubles for the coffee shop chain, including closed stores, layoffs and declining sales.