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Starbucks Cafes That Don't Look Like Starbucks Cafes to Sell Beer, Wine, Bourgeois Bliss

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When courting customers in the dark underbelly of the global drug trade, it’s important to remember the basic dichotomy of your product line: You’ve got your uppers, and you’ve got your downers.

And if you can attract customers who dig on both, consider yourself doubly profitable.

Well, Starbucks, one of the nation’s largest purveyors of the white crystalline xanthine alkaloid known as “The White Horse,” “Columbian Bean,” or just by its more informal name “caffeine,” has announced plans to start selling drugs from the other side of the spectrum.

USA Today reports that Starbucks will start selling beer and wine in new stores in an effort to “improve the way that its customers --  and its stockholders -- respond to the brand.”

But these new cafes won’t look like your everyday Starbucks. Instead, USA Today reports that they'll appear “more like a cafe that's been part of the neighborhood for years,” which, depending on the neighborhood you live in, could be good or bad.

A Starbucks modeled after, oh, the Bull and Finch pub in Boston’s handsome Beacon Hill neighborhood would be quite lovely.

One modeled after NYC’s Mars Bar?

Not so much.

Either way, a foray into depressants could give Starbucks a real leg up in its growing competition with McDonald’s. The fast-food chain has proven to be a serious contender in the coffee wars, but probably won’t be releasing any McVodka Tonics anytime soon.

Plus, Starbucks bars would undoubtedly keep things fresh for a company that turns 40 next year. As marketing guru Scott Bedbury tells USA Today, “brands evolve or die.”

Which, while we’re on the subject of expiration, we should note: Mixing amphetamines with depressants is never a good idea, unless you’re a $20.2 billion company with access to a few good lawyers.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.