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How to Get a Cup of 'Dumb Starbucks' -- Yeah, It's for Real, for Now

A pop-up store in Los Feliz looks really familiar, but the prices are a LOT better than the real thing.

Twitter photo of Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz.
Twitter photo of Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz.

Who needs a smart cup of Joe when you can have Dumb Starbucks?

A pop-up store in Los Feliz is asking that very question, and people are lining up around the block to get their not-Starbucks coffee (shh! it’s actually from Vons according to one report). They've also got “Dumb Espresso” and “Dumb Tea.” 

The shop at 1802 Hillhurst Ave. is attracting hour-long waits. Some are already selling their Dumb Starbucks cups, which very similar to the real thing, except for that, you know, word “dumb.” This guy on eBay has a buy-it-now price of $500.

According to published reports, a sign in the shop informs coffee mooches – the java is free – that it’s not really a coffee house. It’s satire.

“Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. ”So, in the eyes of the law, our ‘coffee shop’ is actually an art gallery and the ‘coffee’ you're buying is actually the art. But that's for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!"

Starbucks, the real Starbucks that is, apparently is not amused. A spokesman told CNN Money that whoever is behind Dumb Starbucks is violating their registered trademark.

"We appreciate the humor but they can't use our name," Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson told CNNMoney. "It's a protected trademark. It's our trademark."

As for who's behind it, no one seems to know. Is it a political statement? A competitor? A reality TV show? Stay tuned!

George Vreeland Hill February 10, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Funny, but making money using a protected name and trademark is not a laughing matter. I like the idea and maybe Starbucks is temporarily snickering, but it won't last. Believe me.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) February 10, 2014 at 06:33 PM
Actually, they're not selling the coffee. They're giving it away. So they're actually losing money. Strange!

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