Lattes, Beers and Wine, Oh My!

Starbucks to start selling beer & wine in Portland’s Pearl

by Joe Smith, KGW business reporter
See Video Posted on June 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM

PORTLAND — Starbucks is going in a new direction at one location in Portland. The Seattle-based coffee giant will start selling beer and wine at it’s newest location in the Pearl District.

“We do know that 75-percent of our customers do come in before 2 p.m., so for us, this is a great way to expand into the afternoon and evening day part,” said Andrea Streedain, Regional Director for Starbucks.

Starbucks already has three stores that sell alcohol in Seattle. But KGW has learned in an exclusive report that the new location at The at 1039 NW Couch Street will be a first for Portland.

The design of the store (shown above) is to blend with the neighborhood and to fit into Portland’s coffee culture.

“It will very much capture the industrial feel of the Pearl District and that warehouse feel,” said Streedain.

Some of the fixtures were picked from local salvage yards and the main counter was even made out of a fallen tree from a farm in Oregon City.  Also, in an homage to Portland’s biking community, an entire wall was made from tire inner tubes.

Local-ism is the theme and that extends to many of the wine and beer selections that will be offered. Rouge, Widmer and Deschutes will be served.

“It can help introduce people who are in a mainstream larger company, who maybe don’t experience the smaller brands. It can bring those smaller brands like ours to them, ” said Assistant Brew master Ryan Schmiege for Deschutes Brewery.

Starbucks will look for answers in Portland before rolling out this concept to other locations here and across the country. But, the company promised that one thing will always remain constant – “Coffee will always be at the forefront,” Streedain said.

The new Starbucks store will open on June 13th at 5 a.m. Beer and wine service will start at 2 p.m. each day until closing at 11 p.m.

Starbucks also plans to open two other traditional locations in Portland later this year – at 14th and Morrison Avenue and 1st and Main Street.

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