Friday, July 17, 2009

Starbucks Now Serving Alcohol

Have you heard that Starbucks is test-piloting a new store brand in Seattle that will stay open later, serve alcohol, and have live entertainment?

One of my favorite parts about living in Italy was the café culture. I could walk into Café d’Italia at 7:00 in the morning and enjoy a cappuccino and cornetta. At lunch I could pop in there for a Panini and Europe coke (for those who’ve never been overseas, Europe coke is so much better than American coke). In the evening, after dinner, I could enjoy a glass of Montenegro or a couple of beers (or both) until the wee hours of the morning. Every visit would include a chat with locals, and I would often see friends from town hanging out at Jake’s. In a word, the cafes in Italy were the heartbeat of the town, and part of their purpose was to be open all day and provide a place for people to congregate, relax, and talk about the day.

I’m not saying that I could envision myself at a Starbucks from morning ‘til night. For one thing, I don’t like their food that much. However, I like the idea that I can get my morning coffee in the same place where I enjoy my nightcap. I’m past the point in my life where I want to go out every night and get wasted. Now I like to be a social drinker, and I have a glass of wine while I visit with my friends for 4 hours. The ambience of a relaxed, cool coffee shop at night while I’m enjoying a drink with my friends would be a welcome respite from the loud, bass-thumping bars we usually have to frequent.

I hope that this new concept will live up to its promise and that the public will like it enough to support it.