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The Chicago Tribune reports that Starbucks - expanding on a test that it has been running in five Seattle stores and one Portland, Oregon, store - “plans to open as many as seven stores that sell beer and wine in the Chicago area by the end of 2012 ... These stores offer savory, high-quality, small plate options like cured meats over the standard pastry case fare, and beer and wine in addition to the usual coffee and tea. Starbucks has also been experimenting with live entertainment, including music, poetry readings or theater, depending on the neighborhood.”

"We're really trying to expand the evening daypart," Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz tells the Tribune. "Customers have told us they want to be able to come in and have coffee, or a glass of wine."

Some of the stores will be new units, while others will be remodels, the company said.
KC's View:
I actually like the beer and wine Starbucks stores I’ve visited in Seattle. Not sure how often they would be my first choice when looking for a little evening refreshment, but it certainly would be in the rotation.