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Adios for Now, Alcohol at Starbucks

By Published on .

The Starbucks Evenings approach was first put in place in a Starbucks in the chain's Seattle hometown in 2010.
The Starbucks Evenings approach was first put in place in a Starbucks in the chain's Seattle hometown in 2010. Credit: Starbucks
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Starbucks fans have only a few more nights to try out Starbucks Evenings, the coffee chain's effort at selling wine and craft beer, before it is discontinued to make way for some upscale locations that will serve alcohol alongside its higher-end coffees.

The Starbucks Evenings approach was first put in place in a Starbucks in the chain's Seattle hometown in 2010. It eventually expanded to more than 400 locations nationwide including spots in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., as a way for Starbucks to try to juice sales during its typically less hectic evening hours.

Starbucks saw a lot of overlap between coffee connoisseurs and beer and wine aficionados. It aimed to make its shops -- often updated with new decor such as dark wood communal tables -- a place people wanted to gather and linger during the later hours, over a glass of wine or craft beer, plus small plates of flatbread, bacon-wrapped dates and other foods meant for sharing. Now, Starbucks said it wants to reserve that experience for its more upscale Reserve locations and the special Roastery shops.

On Friday, Starbucks confirmed it plans to end the current program on Jan. 10. Instead, it plans to include beer, wine and spirits on the menus at higher-end Roastery and Reserve locations it is opening. The news was previously covered by the Seattle Times.

The decision to pull beer and wine from other locations means that mainstream Starbucks locations will be back to emphasizing coffee first throughout the day and evening, along with its expanded line of breakfast and lunch foods.

The first Roastery opened in Seattle in late 2014. Starbucks has already announced plans to open the next Roastery this year in Shanghai this year, followed by Tokyo and New York in 2018.

In December, Starbucks said that longtime Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz would in April shift to an executive chairman role, and would focus on the development of Reserve Roasteries around the world, expanding the Reserve format and Starbucks' social impact work.