Yes, this is a real coffee shop that just opened in the Los Feliz neighborhood near Los Angeles over the weekend. As part of their aggressive viral marketing campaign, they serve exactly the same coffee you get in a Starbucks only with the word “dumb” added to your order. You can get Dumb Espresso and Dumb Frappuccino and any dumb coffee you choose. The owners claim that the shop is a work of “parody art” for legal reasons, but Starbucks doesn’t see it the same way:
“We are aware of the store — it is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark.”
Best enjoy your dumb coffee quickly before some very smart lawyers send out a cease and desist.
UPDATE: As expected, Dumb Starbucks has been shut down—but not because of its name. Apparently, it was operating without a valid heath permit. However, the entire thing was little more than a publicity stunt perpetrated by Nathan Fielder, the star of the Comedy Central show Nathan For You. When asked if the network was aware of his stunt, Fielder told the L.A. Times “Oh, they do now.”
See a picture of the menu after the break along with a video of Fielder explaining the idea behind Dumb Starbucks.