A parody coffee shop called “Dumb Starbucks” opened briefly in Los Feliz, Calif., and no one really knew how to react. The logo was the same as Starbucks, the drinks were the same as Starbucks, and it attracted the same type of free-thinking hipsters and privileged white girls as Starbucks. The difference is merely that everything on the strangely familiar menu had the word “dumb” incorporated in the title–oh, and it was all 100 percent free of charge (if you don’t mind waiting in line for an hour or two). The menu on the wall offered coffee that ranged from “horrible” to “bitter,” and they also served products called “dumb iced coffee” and “dumb white chocolate mocha.” There were even CDs on display such as “Dumb Norah Jones” and “Dumb Jazz Standards” stocked next to a nonfunctioning cash register. There was a tip jar, but I imagine that it only acquired a few dollars and some joint roaches.
So how did they get away with it? Keep in mind, this small cafe openly mocked a huge company that, last month, threatened a small business owner from Missouri for making a craft beer called “Frappicino” because the title of his drink was one letter different from Starbuck’s trademark frappuccino. Their argument? Starbucks considered that “phonetically identical.” Dumb Starbucks’ initially unidentified creators called the shop “parody art” in their legal FAQ, which they displayed proudly in the shop. They protected themselves from the notoriously litigious coffee chain by stating that their “coffee shop” was actually an art gallery and the “coffee” they sold was considered the art. Needless to say, liberals everywhere had a massive hard-on for this place.
Then on Monday, Nathan Fielder, a Comedy Central personality, came forward as the man behind the concept. Apparently the whole thing was a stunt to promote his new show. After buzzing crowds showed up to wait in line, he decided he wanted to expand the project. But local health services were like, “LOL, nope.” Despite the popularity and interest following the reveal of this apparent publicity stunt riddled in legal threats from the original Starbucks, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services won in the end. Within an hour of his announcements, health officials closed it down for operating without a license. Apparently Nathan, legitimately dumb and consumed with all his mockery, forgot to get a permit. Fucking moron. It appears he spent so much time protecting himself from legal copyright actions that he forgot to do the first thing you have to do when you open a business, so LA shut down the whole operation. It was at this time that all hipsters within a 30 mile radius wept, and Starbucks resumed its search for a different company to threaten with an unnecessary bullshit lawsuit.
I think everyone was just waiting for something like this to happen though–that’s why the lines were so long. Everyone was trying to get to Dumb Starbucks before some dumb lawyers found a dumb legal loophole and the whole operation went to shit. The only good thing that came out of the situation is that everyone got to laugh at Starbucks for a fleeting moment while their lawyers searched frantically for the owners, only to find that the two employees inside the shop were hired off Craigslist. As the only living white girl who doesn’t worship the brand, I was quite amused. At the end of the day, the only thing we can take from the situation is that some rich people have way too much free time on their hands.
[via USA Today]