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A Starbucks in Seattle just put a bit more of the bar in its baristas’ responsibilities. The location on Olive Way reopened yesterday with offerings that include beer, wine, and locally crafted cheese.

Customers can enjoy their daily frappucino or glass of regional wine nestled up at a bar that puts them in closer contact with the aproned Starbucks servers. The change is a part of what Starbucks sees as an carefully evolving 40-year-old brand that has had to rise above the recession as well as the competition of Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s. This newly renovated location not only has an expanded menu but also has an amped up commitment to eco-friendly and energy-efficient environs.

But the community table made of salvaged flooring from a local high school isn’t the only appeal Starbucks is making to draw customers in. Making baristas more accessible and offering alcohol and other local menu items could make up for the drop-off of sales during afternoon and evening hours. While indie coffee houses might be packed late at night, 70% of Starbucks national sales take place before 2 p.m. At up to $9 a glass, wine (as well as beer certain to have not-pint-sized prices) sales ring up at twice the price (or more) than a night-time coffee, tea, scone, or even one of the sandwiches added to cases in the last few years.

Starbucks’ global development chief Arthur Rubinfield says that the $15 billion-dollar corporation will be watching to see if this location’s changes are successful. If so, then customers could eventually order a beer or sampling of fine cheeses on china in half of all Starbucks worldwide.

Whether you complain about or indulge in $4 coffees from the green and black brand, would you stop off at a Starbucks for happy hour if beer and wine were offered at your favorite locale?

source: Yahoo Shine

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