‘Dumb Starbucks’ Coffee Shop Opens in Los Angeles
This is Dumb Starbucks, home of the Dumb Venti. Photo: Courtesy of Ed Lee
By now you’ve probably heard of Dumb Starbucks, the mysterious, pranksterish coffee shop that appeared out of nowhere and opened for business in a Los Feliz, California, strip mall on Friday. Speculation is that Dumb Starbucks, which has been mobbed with customers, is an art project, a foray into the state of modern “fair use” laws, or possibly both. Every piece of in-store branding is evocative of the original, but with the word “dumb” attached like a prefix to every espresso drink, and even on the paper cups. By the front counter, guests can check out “Dumb Jazz Standards,” “Dumb Nora [sic] Jones ‘Duets,’” and “Dumb Taste of Cuba,” CDs, so these guys are thorough in addition to cheeky. And over the weekend, curious guests lined up for a taste of Dumb Frappuccinos and Dumb Blonde Roast.
Some apparently waited for hours.
The knockoff shop got early boosts from Community's Dan Harmon and actor Rainn Wilson, who both posted photos of it on Twitter. It even has its ownTwitter account, which has already inspired a knockoff of its knockoff, and more than a few customers are reviewing it online as they would a legit business, even though the coffee and pastries are free. “I tried black coffee and caramel macchiato,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “Caramel macchiato tasted like hazelnut. Black coffee was watery and it wasn’t hot, not even warm.”