Vino and venti: Vancouver Starbucks adds alcoholic offerings
Published Thursday, June 1, 2017 11:22AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 1, 2017 1:46PM PDT
You will now be able to get a craft cider with your espresso shot at one Vancouver Starbucks location, as the coffee giant rolls out its “Evenings” program in Western Canada.
The move comes just a few months after the Seattle-based coffee chain said it was “pausing” its alcohol program at more than 400 locations in the U.S.
The “Evenings” program was initially launched in 2010 as a way to attract business beyond the breakfast hours, with offerings including truffle mac and cheese and artisanal flatbread, as well as local beer, cider and wine options. The company had planned to introduce alcohol sales at thousands of locations but then announced it would halt the rollout as of Jan. 10.
In Canada, four Ontario locations currently serve alcohol, and on Thursday, the Starbucks at 2980 Main Street became the first B.C. location to serve wine, beer and cider.
The trendy location in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood was chosen because residents are “passionate about coffee,” said Caroline Ternes, vice president, Starbucks Western Canada. The "Reserve Coffee Bar" offers other unique items, including small-lot and rare coffees, and Nitro Draft ice-cream floats.
It’s hoped introducing alcohol sales will help boost sales in the afternoons and evening hours, when coffee sales traditionally slump.
“It’s slowed down and it’s in the evenings and afternoons when you want to come in and sit down and relax with your friends. Someone’s got a tall mocha, your other friend has a Frappuccino and you’ve got your favourite glass of red wine,” said store manager Merry Lou Proudfoot.
In addition to Italian prosecco and New Zealand sauvignon blanc, wine lovers can enjoy Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio from the Okanagan Valley, while beer drinkers can sip selections from Vancouver’s SteamWorks brewery.
Alcohol sales start at 2 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends.