Starbucks thought it could tap into its customers’ thirst for beer and wine and their late-day hunger pangs at stores such as its Oakwood location, but now, it’s re-thinking that strategy.
Fifteen months ago — when we first told you about the Seattle-based coffee-shop chain applying for a liquor license to serve beer and wine at its Oakwood location at 2424 Far Hills Ave. — Starbucks was pointing out on its web site that 70 percent of Starbucks customers drink wine, compared to 30 percent of the general U.S. population. And Starbucks customers also are twice as likely to drink craft beer than the national average.
So the chain — which operates more than two dozen locations, some free-standing and some inside other businesses, in the Dayton and northern Cincinnati area — rolled out what it called an “Evenings menu” concept that would transform some of its coffee shops, including Oakwood, into restaurants with a limited late-day, small-plates dinner menu and craft-beer and fine-wine offerings. The expansion was part of Starbucks’ efforts to get more people into its coffee shops at all hours of the day rather than just the mornings, and to buy more than just coffee.
The Oakwood Starbucks was among the pilot sites. But a store employee confirmed this morning, Jan. 11, that both the Oakwood store’s Evenings menu and its beer and wine offerings ended Monday night, Jan. 9.
And according to this Seattle Times report, Starbucks is pulling the plug on that Evenings program at more than 400 stores nationwide.
The company is planning to build several new high-end “Reserve Roastery” stores that will focus more on a lunch menu and may still offer wine and beer at those new stores, the Times story says.