‘Dumb Starbucks Coffee’ opened Friday evening in L.A. and has been serving free coffee and pastries under the guise of being an art installation.

'Dumb Starbucks Coffee' A Parody?

‘Dumb Starbucks Coffee’ uses an almost identical logo to that of the real Starbucks, and even copies their drink menu. The only difference: the word addition of the word ‘dumb’ before every item.

The shop quickly gained popularity, with customers waiting in line for over an hour to receive a chance at free coffee and pastries reportedly purchased from a local grocery store. Inside the store, ‘Dumb Starbucks’ posted a letter to its customers, informing them that the location was not affiliated with the Starbucks Corporation, and was using the famous coffee company’s look as a marketing tool, protected under the law as a parody.

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

The identity of the owners of ‘Dumb Starbucks’ is unknown, and the baristas revealed only that they had been hired through Craigslist. Meanwhile, Starbucks is aware of the situation, and announced that it would be “looking into it.”

'Dumb Starbucks' Famous Fans

‘Dumb Starbucks’ earned itself a few famous fans over the weekend. Rainn Wilson, former star of The Office (U.S.), posted a photo of the coffee shop on Instagram Saturday, Feb. 8. The photo clearly shows ‘Dumb Starbucks’ coffee cups in the three standard sizes – ‘Dumb Tall,’ ‘Dumb Grande’ and ‘Dumb Venti’ – as well as the menu and the storefront.

Many patrons of ‘Dumb Starbucks’ told media outlets that they believe the shop is a part of a reality show hoax or a Starbucks Coffee publicity stunt. One thing they agree on is that the shop won’t be there much longer, and ‘Dumb Starbucks Coffee’ cups are becoming collector’s items, as are the ‘Dumb’ CD’s available at the register, such as, ‘Dumb Nora Jones Duets.’

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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