The Rise and Fall of Dumb Starbucks

Bad news, you guys. Dumb Skinny Vanilla Lattes are no longer available. If you didn’t spend your weekend waiting in line for a free dumb beverage, you missed out.

But let’s go back to the beginning…

Dumb Starbucks popped up in Los Feliz, CA over the weekend and was immediately overrun with LA residents looking for free coffee and a new Instagram photo. It opened seemingly out of nowhere with a mystery owner and served the Starbucks drink menu (and pastries) for free. They asked only for donations in the form of a tip jar,

On Monday afternoon, the “owner” AKA, Nathan Fielder announced that the LA location of Dumb Starbucks would be open until Friday, and then he’d open another location in Brooklyn. This parody/prank/brilliant marketing plan will probably be featured on the second season Fielder’s Comedy Central show, Nathan for You, (currently filming) in which he plays a version of himself helping struggling business owners employ hilarious promotion strategies.

I’d say it was a guarantee that we’ll see it on the show if the real Starbucks didn’t seem so grumpy about the whole thing.

As reported by USA Today:

Dumb Starbucks says it is a real business, a fully functioning coffee shop appearing as an art gallery. And it claims it doesn’t think Starbucks is dumb. “We love Starbucks and look up to them as role models. Unfortunately, the only way to use their intellectual property under fair use is if we are making fun of them. So the `dumb’ comes out necessity, not enmity.”

Real Starbucks says it is evaluating how to proceed.

“While we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark.”

Unfortunately for all of us in Southern CA, the real Starbucks decided to shut down the parody art project shortly after Fielder held his press conference Monday afternoon, unveiling himself as the owner. Health inspectors came in and ruined the party around 5pm.

Now that the LA location is closed, I’m assuming there will be no second location in Brooklyn. And will the real Starbucks decide to sue?

I guess we’ll have to see how this one plays out…

Brooklynites – don’t give up hope! For more updates from the man himself, follow @nathanfielder.

“Some stars shine so bright, they burn out long before their time.” – Frank Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny)

Dumb Starbucks, you will live on in our dumb hearts forever.

Featured image via NBCLA, add’l image via