A “Dumb Starbucks” coffee shop has quietly opened in downtown Los Angeles, baffling coffee drinkers and Starbucks enthusiasts as to what this peculiar company is actually up to. The “bizarro” version of the store is practically a spot-on replica of a popular Starbucks coffee house, save for the adjective “dumb” placed in front of just about every item they are selling.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that Dumb Starbucks, located in Los Feliz, is “nearly identical to a typical Starbucks location, with tumblers for sale and trendy CDs, including ‘Dumb Jazz Standards,’ displayed on the counter.”
Some of the other fare being offered inside are coffees served in green and white “Dumb Starbucks coffee” cups, “Dumb Iced Coffee,” “Dumb Frappuccinos,” and a seasonal “Wuppy Duppy Latte.”
The store opened with little to no fanfare, but within hours, customers were lining up to see what all the social media chatter was about. Patrons waited in line for over an hour to get a glimpse inside; because of their long wait times, the baristas started handing out free coffees.
“They’re definitely not serving at Starbucks pace,” joked customer Jeffrey Eyster after waiting close to an hour.
Visitors to the Dumb Starbucks percolated over exactly what the coffee house is doing, and if it’s legal. The “dumb” version of the store is even using the same traditional Starbucks logo of a twin-tailed mermaid, though of course they added the word "dumb."
“It’s a ballsy move on their part,” said customer Ilya Khramtsou. “It feels like they’re sticking it to the company. Everybody drinks Starbucks coffee, like zombies.”
“I hope it’s an art thing vs. a business thing,” Eyster said. “I’d love to see a whole chain of dumb McDonald’s and dumb Cheesecake Factories.”
As for the legality of it all, Dumb Starbucks issued the following statement:
“Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art. So, in the eyes of the law, our ‘coffee shop’ is actually an art gallery and the ‘coffee' you’re buying is considered the art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!”
The actual Starbucks had a more terse statement: “We’re looking into it,” said Megan Adams, a spokeswoman for the company.
You may be considered "dumb" for drinking Starbucks, but there are worse things to be called: