Coffee, Tea — Or Booze? Starbucks Rolling Out New Concept

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) – One Chicago-area Starbucks is doing more than pulling espresso shots.

The chain’s location at the Streets of Woodfield has begun serving beer and wine. CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.

“It really has its roots in European coffee houses. This is very common in Europe where you would see wine and beer and small plates in a coffee house,” says Rachel Antalek, Starbucks’ director of concept development.

Friday was the grand opening. Employees dressed up for the occasion, and regulars showed up for the free cold ones and vino poured nicely into short glasses.

Ariel Cavazos and Payal Shukla are home from college and say this is just what they were looking for.

“I think people come here for different experiences, and I think depending on the time of day and who you’re with, you can make it what it is,” Shukla said.

But what it’s not, Starbucks management insists, is a bar.

“Fundamentally, we’re trying to keep the atmosphere very much the same as what we do today,” Antalek said. “They don’t want us to be a bar — they just want us to be Starbucks with a few more choices.”

Starbucks patron Michael Wessel is OK with the new format.

“I think this harkens back to maybe 200 years ago when the community met and talked, and that is what Starbucks is bringing back or reviving,” he said.

Beer, wine and small plates are only available after 4 p.m. The wine list is from all over the world. The beer comes from local breweries and will change every so often.

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