It is usually pretty difficult to mistake a Starbucks for any other coffee shop. Between the green awnings and logo cups, all the chain’s paraphernalia are pretty obviously associated with Starbucks and Starbucks alone. But now a challenger has appeared to test Starbucks with a “parody” coffee shop called "Dumb Starbucks" in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Dumb Starbucks is virtually identical to a normal Starbucks, the only difference is that everything has the word “dumb” in front of it. Whether this turns out to be a clever idea or a profoundly dumb one remains to be seen.
According to Gawker, the store actually says it is legal to run the Dumb Starbucks because of parody law. “By adding the word ‘dumb’, we are technically ‘making fun’ of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as ‘fair use,’” explains a list of frequently asked questions posted at the Dumb Starbucks location.
The location does serve coffee, though. The menu board lists dumb iced coffee, dumb iced lemonade, and dumb Frappuccinos among the offerings.
“Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art,” the FAQ explains. “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.”
The store is running a twitter account that already has over 2,000 followers and people have been willing to wait in line for over an hour for a “dumb coffee,” which the shop is rumored to be giving away for free.