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Dumb Starbucks: Why is it here and why are people lining up?

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A "Dumb Starbucks" location in Los Feliz that popped up Friday night, Feb. 7, 2014.
Jed Kim/KPCC
A "Dumb Starbucks" location in Los Feliz that popped up Friday night, Feb. 7, 2014.

A coffee shop called Dumb Starbucks, claiming to parody the popular chain, has opened to long lines of people in Los Feliz. But who is behind it and why did they open?


Over the weekend, a coffee shop popped up in Los Feliz sporting the Starbucks name and logo. But there's one small difference — the word "dumb" prefaces everything in the shop.

Dumb Starbucks offers drinks like dumb Iced Carmel Macchiatos and dumb Chai Tea Lattes. And an FAQ says the new coffee shop is perfectly legal because it's a work of parody art and therefore protected under parody laws.

But real Starbucks says it's a trademark infringement and they are trying to find out who's behind it. KPCC's Mary Plummer stopped by Monday morning to find out the latest.

"It’s quite a scene out here,” Plummer said live from the crowded Dumb Starbucks.

“Surprisingly it does look fairly similar to a regular Starbucks, of course the name is different, but the logo and everything looks the same.”

The menu and inside of the store also mimicked the mega chain, Plummer noted.

Long lines continued as people came out again for free coffee Monday morning. Plummer spoke with someone who waited an hour and 45 minutes to get coffee, while another woman who waited in line quite a while said she painted her nails specifically to come out and get her Dumb Starbucks coffee and take an Instagram photo.

"They say the coffee’s good, considering the price," said Plummer.

The real Starbucks has said they are trying to get in touch with the owners of Dumb Starbucks and that the store is not affiliated with Starbucks.

“No one out here seems to be taking this too seriously,” said Plummer. “The vibe out here is really fun and festive, people kind of talked about the community feel. And a lot of people are talking about getting the cup and experiencing Dumb Starbucks before the real Starbucks shuts it down.

Though the mystery remains about Dumb Starbucks’ owners and motivation, Take Two co-host Alex Cohen has a theory that perhaps someone in Hollywood is behind it, considering people like Dan Harmon, creator of the television show “Community,” and “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson have talked about it. (


It seems like everyone wants a taste of Dumb Starbucks. Here's what's swirling on social media: 

Animals welcome, too.

Folks wait for hours to get inside.

An artistic look.

These ladies opted for the "regular Starbucks."

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