Starbucks To Expand Alcohol Sales


You may soon be able to get beer or wine along with your caffeine from your local Starbucks:

Starbucks will expand its evening alcohol and light bites menu, which includes bacon-wrapped dates and Malbec wine, to thousands of stores, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said in a phone interview. The rollout will take several years, he said.

“We’ve tested it long enough in enough markets — this is a program that works,” he said. “As we bring the evening program to stores, there’s a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day.”

It isn’t clear where these stores will be located, although it will likely be easier for the company to get the license(s) needed to sell beer and wine in some states rather than others. Additionally, I tend to doubt that you’ll be able to get beer or wine at 6am instead of your Venti Dark Roast.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CB says:

    Mmmmm Irish coffee.

  2. john personna says:

    I give you … The Women’s Petition Against Coffee (1674)

    Some of our Sots pretend tippling of this boiled Soot cures them of being Drunk; but we have reason rather to conclude it makes them so, because we find them not able to stand after it: ‘Tis at best but a kind of Earthing a Fox to hunt him more eagerly afterward: A rare method of good-husbandry, to enable a man to be drunk three times a day!


    So once more they troop to the Sack-shop till they are drunker than before; and then by a retrograde motion, stagger back to Soberize themselves with Coffee: thus like Tennis Balls between two Rackets, the Fopps our Husbands are bandied to and fro all day between the Coffee-house and Tavern, whilst we poor souls sit mopeing all alone till Twelve at night, and when at last they come to bed finoakt like a Westphalia Hogs-head we have no more comfort of them, than from a shotten Herring or a dried Bulrush; which forces us to take up this Lamentation and sing ,,,

    more here

  3. rudderpedals says:

    It’s a slippery slope to hard likker and a Barbucks on every corner.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Starbucks is on a roll – open carry of weapons is okay (I know what they’ve said, but …) and now they’ll serve alcohol too? What’s next – marijuana sales, to complement their cookies and pastry offerings?

  5. greg says:

    @CB: first thing that came to my mind too 😉

  6. Tyrell says:

    I read Mr. Howard Schultz’ s very good book a few years ago. They had problems and had to close hundreds of stores. Part of the problem was way over expansion. The other was that they seemed to have gotten away from their original mission of focusing on coffee. Hopefully they won’t repeat those mistakes. A store in a close town had only been there about 14 months and they pulled the plug. A lot of people complained that it was not given a chance, signed petitions, and everything. Not far from here there are two Starbucks within sight of each other; one is in a store. We would like to have one in our town, but it probably won’t happen. So I will have to be content with convenience store or McD’s coffee. The alcohol drink sales in a Starbucks is news to me. Our county is one of those places that doesn’t allow any alcohol. People have to drive across the county line if they want it; probably some of the same people who voted against it being sold here.

  7. qtip says:

    “A one-Starbucks town” is one of my favorite expressions.

  8. Tyrell says:

    @qtip: A few years ago Jay Leno commented that let a Starbucks close and people complain like crazy. A huge factory closes and nobody says anything.

  9. Franklin says:

    So I take it that some of you have actually been in a Starbucks? What’s it like?

  10. qtip says:


    In DC where I live, it’s variable. Sometimes friendly. Sometimes surly. Quite often containing a few mentally disturbed people hanging out for hours.

    I was recently in Chandler, AZ and there is was like Cheers. The baristas enthusiastically greeted a large percentage of customers by name.

  11. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: a well armed, hyped up semi-kinda drunk crowd on a sugar jag! what could go wrong?

  12. DrDaveT says:

    it will likely be easier for the company to get the license(s) needed to sell beer and wine in some states rather than others

    Uh, yeah — kind of like it’s easier to grow sugar cane in some states than others.

    Liquor laws are the last bastion of states’ rights. Anti-competitive and protectionist statutes that would be tossed out in a microsecond in any other sector are sacrosanct when it’s about Teh Likker.

    My favorite recent example from my home state of Virginia: the law that said in-state wineries could ship to your door but out-of-state wineries could not was (rightfully) struck down as a violation of the Interstate Commerce clause. Virginia therefor amended the law to say that ANY licensed Virginia importer, regardless of where they are located, can ship directly to a Virginia residence…