1. A familiar-looking coffee shop has opened up in Los Feliz, Calif. — except this one is called “Dumb Starbucks.”
3. Everything at the bizarro coffee shop is similar to the real Starbucks, with menu items like a “Dumb Iced Caramel Macchiato” and a “Dumb Green Tea Frappuccino.” A big difference? The drinks are all free.
5. The creators are calling the shop “parody art” in their FAQ to protect themselves from the notoriously litigious coffee chain — last month they sued a small bar owner over his “Frappucino beer.”
“Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorize 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!”
“We love Starbucks and look up to them as role models,” they also wrote. “Unfortunately, the only way to use their intellectual property under fair use is if we are making fun of them.”
7. The shop, which has two employees who said they applied over Craigslist, had lots of actual Starbucks products, and, a BuzzFeed reporter noticed, plenty of snacks like biscotti that customers aren’t actually allowed to take.
9. There are also CDs like “Dumb Norah Jones” and “Dumb Jazz Standards” stocked next to the nonfunctioning cash register.
10. Visitors lined up around the block and waited for hours to get a chance to go to the Dumb Starbucks.
12. Social media posts from The Office star Rainn Wilson and Community showrunner Dan Harmon helped to boost the profile of the art installation-cum-coffee shop.
“Welcome to @DumbStarbucks (on Hillhurst in Los Feliz, LA) it’s just like @Starbucks only DUMB!!!”
13. “Waited for 2 hours to get this dumb chai tea at @DumbStarbucks”
14. Better get over to the Dumb Starbucks soon — it’s anyone’s guess on how quickly the massive corporation will manage to shut it down.
15. Update - Feb. 10, 10:50 a.m. ET: Starbucks told USA Today that it is “evaluating next steps” regarding the parody of its store.
“We are aware of the store. It is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” Starbucks reps said in an email.
16. Update — Feb. 11, 10:50 a.m. ET: The Dumb Starbucks has been shut down after comedian Nathan Fielder came forward and took credit for the prank.
Fielder hosts a show on Comedy Central called Nathan For You. Yesterday, the Dumb Starbucks was shut down by the Los Angeles Health Department, but Fielder said he plans to open another cafe in Brooklyn.