As if their complete control over your morning addiction wasn't enough, Starbucks has now announced it's going to start selling booze at some of its cafes during the evening. Oh, this is going to be good—you'll be able to get hammered at night and then sober up on a venti caramel macchiato the next morning. (Or if they really go all out, a venti bloody mary.) The only bummer is that you'll probably have to wait a little while before you can start getting sloshed at your local Starbucks.
They're going to first test the idea by selling beer and wine in a small group of cafes in Atlanta and California by the end of this year. The long term plan—assuming it doesn't result in rampant alcohol abuse and hooliganism, and, you know, it's profitable—is to expand the service to cafes across the country. But even then, they don't expect to have alcohol in every store.
Fortunately, they're implementing this revolution alongside a plan for selling more savory snacks—cheese plates, flatbreads, and the like. So at least customers will have something to soak up all the grande merlots and trenta pale ales that they're pouring down their gullets.
The question remains, though, do we really need what will essentially be a very generic tapas bar on every corner? Apparently we do, says Clarice Turner, senior VP of Starbuck's U.S. operations:
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.
Umm, have you ever heard of a family room? Or a pub? Of course, there are plenty of other cafes that serve wine and beer at night, but it rarely seems to create a hopping nightspot. After all, if people really want to drink, they usually just go to a bar. Plus, there's something kind of awkward and lonely-making about the quietness of a coffee shop at night.
But, the thing is, it doesn't even matter if we want it. We're going to get it anyway. We discussed this same idea a while ago when Starbucks bought a fancy juice chain, and now my prediction is coming true. Though I'd rather hoped they'd open bars independent of their existing cafes—mostly for the reason that they could be called Starbucks After Dark. But if we can't have that, let's start calling the regular cafes something dumb like Starbuzzcks, and before we know it people will be unironically exclaiming, "I'm gonna stop off on my way home from work and get totally Starbuzzed." Welcome to the future!