It's Starbucks, but not! The megachain has been remodeling a handful of its stores to look more indie -- no corporate logos, a different menu, and no more push-button machines. They pulled a switch in Seattle last month, and word just surfaced that they're planning a second. If it's happening in Seattle, it could happen anywhere! Including Minnesota, which, apparently, has a "coffee scene heavy with indies and home-grown chains." Huh!
Anyway, the number of Starbuckses in San Francisco is rather staggering -- maybe we could do with a change of scenery, if not change of corporate ownership.
Update: We have just been reminded that Starbucks did, in fact, have a "black ops" version in San Francisco about a decade ago -- it was called "Circadia" and was located in the Mission across from KQED and beneath BAVC. It never caught on, and was soon transformed back into a Starbucks at the stroke of midnight. And oh God, here's an article from 1999 about how Starbucks was spending millions to create a "web portal," Jesus Christ. In retrospect, 1999 was probably more pre-apocalyptic than we realized at the time.
· Stealth Starbucks meant to blend into indie coffee scenes like Minnesota’s [TC Daily Planet]
· Your Two Neighborhood Coffer Shops: Indie Starbucks Coming to Broadway [Capitol Hill Seattle]
· Sneak Peek Inside 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea [Seattle Metblogs]