Starbucks to offer wine and beer in 1000s more shops to draw more nightlife-minded customers

DENVER - Twenty-six Starbucks locations across the U.S. currently offer alcohol, and future plans include new locations that will offer adult beverages after 4 p.m.

The "Starbucks Evenings" menu is meant to cultivate a more relaxed, winding-down atmosphere and bump sales during hours when not all their customers are looking for a caffeine jolt.

"We've tested it long enough in enough markets -- this is a program that works," Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg News. "As we bring the evening program to stores, there's a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day."

Alstead said thousands more locations will offer the adult beverages over the next several years. A Starbucks spokesperson said that there are currently no specific plans to expand the 21-and-up beverage menu to any locations in Colorado.

The company posted record profits in 2013 and returned $1.2 billion of that to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases, according to a Wednesday press release.

Current locations offering wine and sometimes beer are in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and D.C. Each location has its own menu, and the evening food options are expected to expand along with the beverage menu.

The menus for each area look similar and all include a brie plate with walnut-cranberry bread and parmesan-encrusted chicken skewers, as well as nine different kinds of wine from Italy, California, Argentina and New Zealand. The Portland locations also have Oregon wine.

There are no plans for Starbucks to offer alcoholic beverages beyond wine and beer, spokeswoman Lisa Passé told USA Today.

 

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