SEATTLE ( TheStreet) -- A new coffeehouse opened in Seattle named 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. While a new shop is not particularly newsworthy, this one has made headlines in The New York Times and other respected publications because 15th Avenue is actually a Starbucks ( SBUX) in disguise.This is not the first attempt Starbucks has made to cloak its "Big Coffee" image. In the late '90s, the coffee giant attempted to break into a more community-oriented market by opening Circadia Coffee House, a trendy European style coffeehouse built in a former San Francisco mayonnaise factory that offered everything from lattes to Skyy Vodka. While the first attempt failed to garner the following that the company expected, Starbucks is trying their luck again with 15th Avenue. 15th Avenue replaces the automatic espresso machines with hand presses, substitutes the blended coffees that were staples to cookie-cutter Starbucks franchises with simpler options and adds beer and wine to their menus. However, when push comes to shove, even with a new logo to cement its trendy, independent look, this cafe is still a cloaked version of a coffee conglomerate.
|Starbucks' 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea in Seattle|