‘Dumb Starbucks’ shuts down as comedian announces NYC plans
By, Anthony Kurzweil (KTLA)
Despite waning interest following its reveal as an apparent publicity stunt coupled with the looming threat of legal action, in the end, it was the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services that put a stop to “Dumb Starbucks.”
The store received little attention when it opened in the hip Los Angeles neighborhood Friday, but it was buzzing by Sunday with crowds of people lined up to take a look inside the parody shop, the Los Angeles Times reported.
And on Monday, the man behind the concept — Nathan Fielder, a Comedy Central personality with a show to promote — came forward at a news conference, saying he planned an expansion.
Within an hour, health officials had closed the rogue location down.
Dumb Starbucks used the same font style, logo and colors as the real Starbucks, but had put the word “dumb” in front most of the products on its menu.
Customers could choose from several dumb items, including a dumb Starbucks coffee, dumb frappuccino or dumb macchiato.
A sign inside the store told customers the business was a work of parody art.
But was that enough to ease the minds of Starbuck’s attorneys?
Well, the global coffee company issued the following statement Monday: “We are obviously aware of the Dumb Starbucks location in Los Feliz. It is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating our next step. While we appreciate the humor of the store, they cannot use our name. It is a protected trademark.”
Several hours later, a KTLA reporter who made an inquiry about the store received an email stating that “the owner of Dumb Starbucks will be making an in person announcement at our store … today at 4 p.m.”
The parody store’s Twitter account later posted about the announcement, saying “All are welcome!”
At the news conference, Fielder said he was opening another “Dumb Starbucks” in Brooklyn in coming weeks.
The location of the Los Feliz — 1802 Hillhurst Ave. — had been the subject of film permits for a Comedy Central show, “Nathan for You,” the L.A. Weekly reported.
Fielder is the star of the show.
Shortly after the news conference, which attracted dozens of reporters, the store was shut down for operating without a permit.
KTLA’s Liberte Chan contributed to this article.