Starbucks’ experiment with alcohol is over. The Seattle Times reported that the chain’s sales of beer, wine, and small plates food was discontinued as of Tuesday at all company-owned stores in the U.S, a program that had grown to over 400 locations.
Starbucks started its “Evenings” promotion in 2010 in Seattle. The idea was to attract an after-work crowd looking to unwind with a drink instead of the typical morning rush hoping to rev up with a few shots of espresso.
Starbucks had an in-house sommelier pick the wines and would deliver drinks to the table via barista, a change from the daytime counter-service model. The program began ambitiously, with Starbucks stating in 2014 that it would sell alcohol at thousands, not hundreds, of locations. Roastery stores, which roast beans onsite and are being spearheaded by former CEO Howard Schultz, will sell alcohol in the future.