Skip the Latte, Booze Coming To Starbucks

There's an entirely new reason to go to Starbucks — and it's not another caffeinated concoction that will turn you into a real person in the morning. No, this is so much better: A beer, wine and evening menu at Starbucks that will include truffle mac n' cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, and happy hour fare. These will eventually be offered at the chain's 11,500 locations across America, and is part of a program called Starbucks Evenings, which will kick in after 4 p.m. daily.

The plan was tested in 26 stores from 2010, and will expand to 40 locations by the end of 2014.

"We've tested it long enough in enough markets - this is a program that works," Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg.

The rollout is expected to take several years, Alstead added. Between the hours of 4 p.m. and closing, Starbucks will offer wine, beer, and light bites, although it's not clear yet which food items will be on which stores' menu. LA Weekly wrote about the Starbucks Evenings menu in their local trial location:

Also on the menu are "bites" of warmed rosemary and brown sugar cashews for $3.45 and seasonal vegetables with smoky chipotle hummus for $4.95. Other selections include Parmesan-crusted chicken skewers and a chicken and roasted tomato flatbread. There are a couple of dessert choices, too. As for the drinks, there are 10 wines, available by the glass or bottle, and beer choices, which vary — ask the barista about the current selection.
Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Starbucks has increased its revenue in recent years by offering juice, tea and food options, along with its expansive selection of caffeinated beverages. Oprah Winfrey is now backing Teavana tea — the Teavana tea chain was bought by Starbucks in late 2012. The "Oprah Chai Tea" will roll out on April 29, and all proceeds will benefit education charities. (Just another reason to love Oprah, and Starbz too.)

While happy hour enthusiasts are likely rejoicing at this news, Starbucks has a few other tricks up its sleeve. In addition to expanding its mobile applications and rewards program — and testing out a way for customers to order with their smartphones before setting foot in a Starbucks location — the company plans to double its market value to $100 billion in a long term.

Ambitious, but if anyone can do it, Starbucks sure can.