'Dumb Starbucks' shop in Los Feliz not OK, real Starbucks says

'Dumb Starbucks' picked up steam over the weekend, and everyone wants to know what the parody shop is all about.
February 10, 2014 11:01:53 AM PST
A mysterious shop named ''Dumb Starbucks'' is serving coffee again in Los Angeles after drawing weekend crowds that waited in a line two blocks long.

The line Monday was far shorter, however.

The store resembles a Starbucks with a green awning and mermaid logo, but with the word "Dumb" attached above the Starbucks sign.

Starbucks says it's trying to contact the people responsible for the Hillhurst Avenue store, which was announced in a Feb. 7 tweet under the handle dumbstarbucks.

The Seattle-based coffee chain says its legal team is working on identifying the store's owner.

Spokeswoman Laurel Harper says the store is not affiliated with Starbucks and, despite the humor, the store cannot use the Starbucks name.

Thanks to a new parody coffee shop that opened in Los Feliz, you need not picture it, because you can visit.

"It's definitely an experience," said Judy Liang. She wanted to give the knock-off of the coffee giant a shot -- a double shot, of espresso.

"Definitely as good as Starbucks," said Liang.

Dozens waited in line Sunday, some for an hour or more, to taste the Starbucks knock-offs, like dumb iced caramel macchiato, dumb ice vanilla latte and dumb ice cafe mocha.

While some people didn't agree that the coffee is as good as the real deal, at least the coffee and pastries are free.

"They're not taking money. It's all donations," said Liang.

So, who is behind the barista bonanza?

"I asked the guys inside who is behind this, and they just said, 'some guy,'" said Liang.

That "guy" put out flyers, which asks one very important question: How is this even legal? The short answer from Dumb Starbucks is parody law. The flyer states that "for legal reasons 'Dumb Starbucks' needs to be categorized as a work of parody art."

"I would say that I think Dumb Starbucks is pretty smart," said Brian Morrison. "What we're all in line for isn't coffee. It's a commentary, and the cup. I'm excited to save the cup. There's absolutely artistic value here."

The flyer also said that Dumb Starbucks is technically making fun of Starbucks, which they say allows them to use Starbucks' trademark under the fair use law.


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