Starbucks Is Putting the Bar in Barista

 

Move over, Grande Iced Vanilla Soy Latte—there’s a new contender for most pretentious Starbucks drink order. If you favor a glass of sparkling Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco D.O.C. or perhaps a bottle of Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, the Mermaid is ready to make your afternoon drinks run a lot more interesting.

At select locations, craft beers and sommelier-chosen wines are now available as part of the company’s Starbucks Evenings menu. Both beverages are served in custom Riedel stemless glassware subtly branded with a frosted logo. Drinks menus are customized to regional tastes: The Pacific Northwest locations feature Maritime lager, while those in Chicago offer Goose Island IPA. If you’re worried about overindulging on an empty stomach, you can order from an assortment of “shareable” small plates. Truffle Mac & Cheese, Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Meatballs with Tomato-Basil Sauce, or Panko-Crusted Chicken Skewers should help soak up the alcohol quite nicely.

Although the nighttime menu was tested in Seattle starting in 2010, the concept has taken some time to reach other areas. A high-style location in Brooklyn‘s Williamsburg launched last summer, along with a few dozen other locales. The Washingtonian reports that the Washington, D.C., metro area is now home to five Starbucks Evenings locations within the District boundaries, with 13 Northern Virginia locations coming in the near future.

With this latest rollout, there are now more than 300 participating Starbucks stores serving beer and wine after 4 p.m. in locations across the U.S. and Canada. Similar programs exist in Norway, Japan and the United Kingdom. A Starbucks representative tells us that few hundred more locations are planned for the remainder of 2016.

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