The Capitol Hill Blog gets a hold of a Starbucks memo describing the new "neighborhood" cafe that the corporation is plotting to open just off Broadway (the model is increasingly being described outside corporate circles as "stealth Starbucks," and that's the last set of semi-ironic quotes that Voracious will use in this post, though the effort to restrain ourselves is making our fingernails buckle). While the first -- gak -- neighborhood cafe remodeled a failing store, the Roy Street Coffee & Tea will open in a vacant storefront incredibly close to Joe Bar, Vivace, and of course, another thriving Starbucks. (Reinventing yourself: two thumbs up. Trying to reinvent yourself by aping Third Wave coffee shops in the neighborhood with the country's highest concentration of them: WTF? It's a little like buying the exact same outfit as the most fashionable girl in school, then wearing it on the same day she does.)
And what does that uncomfortable phrasing on the door mean? The memo explains:
We openly place a byline -- "inspired by Starbucks" -- on the front door and in various interior locations to honor our rich heritage.