ROSWELL, Ga. –- The first Starbucks in the Southeast to offer beer and wine opened Friday afternoon in Roswell.
The new “Starbucks Evenings” menu was unveiled Oct. 19. This expanded menu offers a different fare than the typical breakfast munchies.
“We want to add to the coffeehouse experience,” said Sharon Powell, Southeast regional vice president for Starbucks. “We want people to come in the morning and come back in the evening without having to do breakfast again.”
Not only is the Roswell location at the intersection of Mansell Road and Ga. 9 the first in Georgia, it’s the first in the Southeast and the first on the East Coast.
Only 20 stores in the country will test the new menus.
“This has the clientele and the demographics, our target customers, that we were looking for,” Powell said. “Now people will have more reasons to come back in the evening.”
Finger foods such as rosemary cashews or blue brie cheese with walnut cranberry bread are offered along with a truffle mac and cheese, all of which are not the typical coffeehouse fare.
Both red and white wines along with a selection of beers round out the menu.
“We want a place where people can come in the evenings to gather and relax and not everyone has to have a coffee or a glass of wine,” Powell said. “There are people who don’t want to go to a bar [to drink alcohol].”
Several people at the opening echoed that thought.
“I could come here to meet somebody and have a drink without the bar atmosphere,” said resident Janet Russell. “Starbucks has a great, relaxed atmosphere.”
Gary Long and Steve Jampol regularly come to Starbucks for coffee and to play Scrabble.
“Now, we can debate whether to get coffee or wine,” Long said.
“For people who aren’t drinking, this is perfect,” he said. “Nobody feels left out.”
For some people, it took a little convincing to overcome the Starbucks brand they had come to enjoy.
“I came in expecting none of this,” said Marla Keith. “When I come to Starbucks, I expect coffee.”
However, after sampling some of the food and the wine, Keith was rethinking that assessment.
“This has a great vibe,” she said. “I could get used to this.”
Other stores to soon open with the new menus are at Medlock Bridge and State Bridge roads in Johns Creek and West Paces Ferry and Howell Mill Road in Marietta.