Test Starbucks locations in Chicago, will be serving wine and beer in the upcoming year.
Wonder if they'll support/serve local craft brews, or fall into the well coddled nest of macro influence?
Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to open as many as seven stores that sell beer and wine in the Chicago area by the end of 2012.
The Seattle-based coffee giant has been testing a more community-oriented store concept to boost traffic in the evening for more than two years. These stores offer savory, high-quality, small-plate options like cured meats, and beer and wine, in addition to the usual coffee and tea. Starbucks has also been experimenting with live entertainment, including music, poetry readings or theater, depending on the neighborhood.
"We're really trying to expand the evening daypart," said Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz. "Customers have told us they want to be able to come in and have coffee, or a glass of wine." At the six stores currently open in the Seattle area and Portland, he said, same-store sales after 4:00 p.m. have increased by double-digit percentages.
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