'Dumb Starbucks' mystery: Who's behind the faux coffee front in Los Feliz?
Update 2:46 p.m.: Starbucks Corporation looking into "Dumb Starbucks"
Starbucks spokesperson Megan Adams was short in her reply when asked questions about the "Dumb Starbucks" in Los Feliz that opened on Friday.
"Its obviously not a Starbucks," Adams said on Sunday afternoon.
She declined to respond to questions about whether this has ever happened before to the company, or whether it would take legal action.
"We are looking into it right now," Adams said.
Messages left with people associated with "Dumb Starbucks" seeking comment have not been returned as of Sunday afternoon. Its Twitter account @DumbStarbucks has not been active since 10 a.m. Saturday.
Sat. Feb 8, 3:56 p.m.: A store labeled as "Dumb Starbucks," using the Starbucks corporate logo and bearing an almost identical look to an actual Starbucks, opened up in Los Feliz on Friday, according to employees.
It was open until about 6 p.m. Saturday and drinks were free as part of what a barista called a "grand opening."
The coffee shop reopened again Sunday morning and coffee was again free. Dozens of people could be seen waiting in line to get in.
Messages left with people associated with "Dumb Starbucks" seeking comment have not been returned. Messages left with Starbucks Corporation have also not been returned.
The menu was limited.
On Sunday, there still was no business license or health code rating posted in the establishment. The baristas said they were hired from Craigslist.
Despite the popularity, customers seemed confused about what exactly was going on.
"I saw online that there was a Dumb Starbucks sign. One of my friends posted about it, and I live across the street, so I just walked over," Jonathan Brown told KPCC. He described it as "weirdly off-kilter," with everything looking like a regular Starbucks except for the word "dumb" in front of it.
Brown speculated that it might be either an art project or a TV prank show.
The @dumbstarbucks Twitter account was already picking up steam Saturday. Television writer Dan Harmon was among those tweeting about it:
"The Office" actor Rainn Wilson tweeted about the location as well:
The store also offered a frequently asked questions list, which you can read below. They cite parody and fair use law as allowing them to run the business, and say they don't actually think Starbucks is dumb, but that they had to say so to be protected by fair use law.
You can find the... whatever it is at 1802 Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz.
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This story has been updated.