Starbucks to expand evening menu of beer, wine, food to other markets

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. said it would expand its nascent attempt to drum up evening business with beer, wine and premium food at select locations in new regions.

The coffee shop operator already runs the concept at five stores in the Seattle area — the company's original stomping ground — and one in Portland.

Monday, it reiterated a plan to bring the concept to five to seven Chicago locations and unveiled an expansion to Atlanta and Southern California in four to six stores each, all by the end of the year.

"We're pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we're excited to see how the idea translates to other markets," said Clarice Turner, senior vice president of U.S. operations.

The company said it first introduced the strategy, which it calls the evening day-part concept, at a Seattle location in October 2010.

The enhanced menu at the stores will include savory snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads. The wine and beer list will be selected for local customer tastes and preferences. Also, the stores "will incorporate flexible seating to accommodate individuals and small groups as well as larger parties that want to host community meetings or other events such as book clubs," the company said.

It is scheduled to report results for the fiscal first quarter on Thursday.

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