‘Dumb Starbucks’ creates confusion, long lines in Los Angeles
TORONTO – A coffee shop in the Los Angeles area is causing some confusion over its name and look.
Calling themselves ‘Dumb Starbucks’, the shop uses the official Starbucks logo and branding. By adding the word “dumb” to their name, they claim what they’re doing is legal because they are in fact a parody of Starbucks.
“By adding the word ‘dumb’, we are technically ‘making fun’ of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as ‘fair use’,” they have written in a note of frequently asked questions posted inside the store.
— Ben Pankonin (@benpankonin) February 9, 2014
They also point out in their FAQ that while they are a “fully functioning coffee shop” they have to be categorized as a work of parody art.
“In the eyes of the law, our ‘coffee shop’ is actually an art gallery and the ‘coffee’ you’re buying is considered the art.”
The store features a menu of “dumb” drinks and even stocks parody versions of CDs found at the real Starbucks, such as “Dumb Jazz Standards” and “Dumb Nora Jones Duets.”
Enjoy our full menu of coffees and cold drinks pic.twitter.com/wPacrEEH9k
— Dumb Starbucks (@dumbstarbucks) February 8, 2014
Since opening on Friday the shop has been offering free coffee and pastries to patrons. Lines are out the door and have been reported to be up to an hour long at times.
Line around the corner, wait’s over an hour for Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz. pic.twitter.com/ABJnfoOXB7
— Michelle Maltais (@mmaltaisLAT) February 9, 2014
I suspect a line of ppl waiting more than an hour for bad free coffee is half of the Dumb Starbucks creator’s point: pic.twitter.com/X4Rw4W15oI
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) February 9, 2014
While some wonder if this is the work of Starbucks themselves, a rep from the coffee company told The Hollywood Reporter they were aware of the store and that “this isn’t a Starbucks location and we’re looking into it.”
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