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Starbucks Happy Hour?

Starbucks is looking at expanding their menu in the near future and it’s not new coffee flavors they’re looking at.

In an effort to boost off-hour sales, Starbucks is planning to serve beer and wine in the evenings in more of its outlets over the next several years, looking to expand it to thousands of its 11,000 U.S. stores, including three here in Sioux Falls.

Starbucks first offered beer and wine after 4 p.m. at one of its Seattle cafes in 2010, and “Starbucks Evenings” is now available at 26 of its outlets, with plans to reach 40 by the end of the year.

Also served during these hours are small dishes like bacon-wrapped dates, truffle macaroni and cheese and flatbreads. The regular coffee menu is still available as well during Starbucks Evenings.

You can’t really fault Starbucks for looking at additional offerings. It’s something nearly all chains do: try to get a larger slice of the ‘pie’. But by doing so, are they (Starbucks and all the others who try something ‘new’) diluting the brand? Are they closing focus on what made them famous and successful? Or is it something you’re looking for? After a movie to stop in to Starbucks for a glass of wine and a truffle mac & cheese instead of a grande latte and a scone? I’m all for free enterprise, but I’d be surprised if it took off in their smaller cities like Sioux Falls the way it obviously has in Seattle.

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