Oct 21, 2010 8:07 PM by Matt Stafford

Starbucks' plan for alcohol getting mixed reviews

For coffee shops most business is in the mornings, but mega-chain Starbucks is looking to reach more people later in the day -- by adding beer and wine.

"I think it could help them build their traffic in the afternoon," says Jordan Vaughan, a Colorado Springs customer.

Another Colorado Springs customer, Tyler Levan, likes the idea.

"I like a little crème de menthe in my coffee every once and a while, so I could do that."

However, not everyone is for it.

"It just seems a little greedy to me to add beer and wine," says Patti Vaughan. Vaughn says she's a Starbucks regular, but she may change her routine.

"Being around people that are consuming alcohol is not always the best place for kids to be."

Starbucks says their customers want more in the afternoons and evenings, so they're looking at the alcohol and more food. On their website, Starbucks says they would look at making the change in neighborhoods where it is relevant. The chain's Global Development Chief says it could happen in up to half of their stores.

For a local store owner already competing with Starbucks, it's not news Richard Skorman wants to hear.

"I go, 'oh geez, here we go again'," that's how Skorman says he reacted when he heard about Starbucks' plans.

Skorman was ahead of Starbucks on the wine; opening Rico's in 2005, but he says the giant company will have big advantages.

"Starbucks are everywhere and they're going to put out of business a lot of neighborhood bars, a lot of local businesses."

Skorman says he doesn't know if he would see an affect if one of the nearby Starbucks makes the changes, but he doesn't really want to find out. He'd rather they just stick to coffee.

Starbucks would have to meet local liquor requirements for those stores making the change.


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