Financial News

  • 11 February 2014, 19:33

'Dumb Starbucks' Shop Opened In Los Angeles

Starbucks has said it is trying to contact the people responsible for opening a coffee shop called "Dumb Starbucks" in Los Angeles.

A February 7 tweet under the handle @dumbstarbucks announced the store's opening in the city's Los Feliz neighbourhood.

After days of speculation, Nathan Fielder of the Comedy Central show Nathan For You revealed himself to be the owner of the parody store.

The Canadian comedian told a crowd on Monday he was pursuing the "American dream" - before acknowledging the faux cafe was a publicity stunt and he wanted to feature it on his show.

Photos on social media showed a shop that appeared to be a Starbucks with its familiar green awning and mermaid logo, but with the word "Dumb" attached to its sign.

Local television reports showed queues stretching around the corner and down the block, with some waiting for as long as an hour for a taste, according to KCBS.

"It's dumb and it's free, what more can we ask for?" one patron told the station.

An employee, donning a "Dumb" version of Starbuck's green apron, said: "It's all about the coffee at the end of the day. It's all about getting caffeinated and putting a smile on people's faces."

Requests to speak to the store's manager went unheeded.

A flier shown to reporters and customers said the store was a Starbucks "parody" and therefore does not violate US trademark laws.

But the Seattle-based coffee chain said its legal team was working to identify the store's owner.

"We are aware of this store, and it is not affiliated with Starbucks," said spokeswoman Laurel Harper.

"We are evaluating next steps, and while we appreciate the humour, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark."

She added that the vast majority of trademark disputes "are handled informally", suggesting the company will not need to take legal action.

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