Starbucks will start offering beer and wine in select Southern California… (Amy Sancetta / AP Photo )
Starbucks is aiming to become the catch-all beverage stop in Southern California, saying Monday that it plans to add wine and beer to the coffee and juice it serves in stores.
The Seattle-based company will bring booze to four to six new or remodeled stores in the region by the end of this year, and will do the same to a select group of locations in Atlanta and Chicago.
Since first offering alcohol at its Olive Way outpost in Seattle in 2010, the chain has expanded its beer and wine menu to four other Seattle locations and one in Portland, Ore. There, beers are $5 each while wines range from $7 to $9.
In addition to getting tipsy, customers will also have access to “premium food” such as savory snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads. The alcohol available will be hand-selected and then modified over time to reflect local preferences.
The cafes will be arranged so that the seating set-up will attract individuals, small groups and even larger parties such as book clubs.
“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,” said Clarice Turner, senior vice president of U.S. Operations.
Starbucks is also revamping other parts of its business strategy. In the fall, the chain added its lightest blend ever with a Blonde roast. It also laid claim to the health food industry by buying San Bernardino juice company Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million and promising to launch a series of “wholesome” juice shops.
The company is also experimenting with new drive-through models, recycling industrial shipping containers and incorporating them into new cafes.
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