If you’ve been around the internet or Los Angeles the past day or so, you’ve probably heard about Dumb Starbucks Coffee. It’s a pop-up shop that popped itself up in a strip mall in Los Feliz and has been receiving plenty of attention from civilian Angelenos and celebrity Angelenos alike. Dumb Starbucks parodies the legitimate Starbucks chain of coffee shops by replicating everything from the cup design to the menu offerings with one little change: the addition of the word dumb as a prefix. Apparently everything at Dumb Starbucks is free, from the coffee to the pastries supplied by a nearby supermarket to the fake CD’s like “Dumb Nora Jones Duets” and people are lining up for a chance to get look-see into this strange coffee shop development.
Here’s an explanation of the weird novelty shop according to the shop’s FAQ:
“Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art. So, in the eyes of the law, our “coffee shop” is actually an art gallery and the “coffee” you’re buying is actually the art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!”
A rep for real Starbucks told The Hollywood Reporter that they’re “aware [of Dumb Starbucks] and this isn’t a Starbucks location and [they're] looking into it.”
What’s really going on here? Is it art or are they just saying that? Is it a fake? Is it a hoax? Are you confused? Intrigued? Itching for a cup of coffee?
Here are some potential theories explaining Dumb Starbucks:
- It’s actually real and the law won’t be able to do anything about it because it’s technically art and they aren’t making money off of it.
- It actually is art: a Joaquin Phoenix, Marina Abramovic and James Franco collaboration.
- It’s a goof– the intersection of satire, coffee and art.
- Starbucks lost a bet.
- Starbucks is behind it. Viral marketing, bitches.
- Dunkin Donuts is behind it. It’s called revenge, bitches.
- Tim Hortons is behind it–they’re trying so hard to fit in.
- This is one of Jimmy Kimmel’s pranks.
- Starbucks has become self aware and self deprecating. Starbucks is so over Starbucks.
- Incognito market research from the suits behind Starbucks.
- It’s L.A. nonsense like juice cleanses, ayahuasca ceremonies or method acting.
- It will be a real non-Starbucks themed non-parody coffee shop and the name will be changed soon. This is just clever publicity to garner attention for the future shop.
- It’s all Shia LaBoeuf’s fault.
- It’s all Banksy’s fault.
- All Starbucks have technically been Dumb Starbucks this whole time.
- Terrorism. 911.
- It’s a trap.
I just have so many questions. Will there be a Dumb Dumb Starbucks Coffee parody followed by a Dumb Dumb Dumb Starbucks Coffee parody? How meta can we get here?
How long do you think Dumb Starbucks will be a thing? I bet we’ll all have long forgotten about it lickety split, though I am into it and think it’s pretty cool.
Image via Rainn Wilson’s Instagram