Weekly contributor Brian Barr gives the Starbucks makeover a New York Times' treatment following our own coverage of the attempt to make Starbucks stores appear like independent, local coffee shops. The company, known for so aggressively protecting its logo it once threatened the Rat City Rollergirls, won't be unleashing a new version of the Mermaid. Instead, Barr writes, the coffee behemoth is making selected stores look less like "cookie-cutter" chain storefronts. But there is a danger in going too far, Barr notes in his story:
"No matter how quirky the neighborhood, Starbucks should not hide the fact that it's still Starbucks. Otherwise, it feels like corporate trickery."
So far, the company has given three stores in Seattle a local-flavor makeover: On 15th Ave., Roy Street and in University Village.