Served frothy and sloppy: Canadian Starbucks gets alcohol

By the end of 2015, alcoholic beverages will be available at Starbucks, providing a whole new meaning to its complimentary “birthday drinks.” I know I’ll be in line for my free Venti, extra whip, orange Frappuccino — with a triple vodka shot.

Starbucks Canada president, Rossan Williams, announced the expansion earlier this month.

But she hasn’t announced how they will be pricing their alcohol.

As it is, I can barely afford Starbucks coffee without a gift card. And I’m sure the addition of alcohol won’t help that situation.

I wonder. If we complain about our wait for a beer, do we get a free drink card?


Irish coffee. (Wikimedia Commons)

Starbucks will be selling tapas, wine, beer, cheese and flatbread. It will be as hoity-toity as a night at the opera. Minus a performance of La Boheme by the baristas.

These items, mostly associated with lounge chains like Milestones and Moxies, will be exclusively on Starbucks evening menu — available at select locations after 4 p.m.

Williams told the Toronto Star that the company’s changes are supposed to appeal to its core customers — women.

Because, according to Williams, many women don’t like to spend time in bars.

As that core demographic, I never realize how uncomfortable all my girlfriends and I must have truly felt drinking at bars. Because, of course, bars are the watering hole of men.

I suppose all those good memories of cheap drink nights, nachos and off-key singing must be a figment of my imagination. Thank goodness I’ll have Starbucks to drink at next year.

Starbucks gourmet foray into Canada has already been tested. And like all things excessive, Americans seem to be enjoying it.

If it seems like all these changes to Starbucks are becoming quite aggressive it’s because Williams thinks we don’t have enough stores in Canada.

“People say there’s a Starbucks on every corner, but there isn’t here,” she said. “We should be at every third exit on the 401.”

So prepare to be followed everywhere by that little green mermaid. Chances are she’s a bit tipsy.

This story also appeared in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on Feb. 11, 2015.

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