'Dumb Starbucks' Shop Appears in L.A.'s Los Feliz

Dumb Starbucks - H - 2014
Brandon Kirby

UPDATED: There's no word on who's behind the project, but there's a line for free coffee and pastries purchased from Vons.

The Los Feliz coffee scene has a new attention-getting entrant, though all bets are off on how long it sticks around. 

Dumb Starbucks Coffee, which parodies the design of a coffee giant chain store, appeared out of seemingly nowhere over the weekend as a pop-up store in a nondescript Hillhurst Ave. location. 

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All of the coffee, brewed by two baristas, is free (tips appreciated). They also have pastries (apparently purchased from Vons) that are also free for the taking for now.  Alongside a non-functioning cash register, CD's like "Dumb Nora Jones Duets" [sic] and "Dumb Jazz Standards" are stocked.

And there was a reasonably long line -- dozens of people -- waiting for a novelty brew on Sunday. 

Perhaps due to its impeccably rendered versions of the shop sign, menu and coffee cup design, the store has drawn attention on social media. Community showrunner Dan Harmon and The Office comedian Rainn Wilson happened to boost the profile of the shop by sharing links to Dumb Starbucks images. 

One barista told The Hollywood Reporter that he was hired two weeks ago when he found the posting on Craigslist. "Our boss wasn't prepared for all this, that's why we're short staffed," he said. There wasn't any word yet on who's behind the parody pop-up store. 

There were only a few tables inside of Dumb Starbucks and patrons who were served didn't seem to stick around too long. But there was a working espresso machine (but no working steam wand) and a drip coffee maker.

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In a Frequently Asked Questions page seen in the shop, a few basic questions are addressed. The FAQ notes that, despite being a parody store, it also intends to be business-like.

"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!"

Starbucks coffee only briefly commented on the pop-up store. "We're aware and this isn't a Starbucks location and we're looking into it," Starbucks rep Megan Adams told THR.

It's unclear what time the shop stopped handing out cups of coffee, but one witness told THR that they were no longer serving around 7 p.m. Sunday. The cups, meanwhile, became something of a collector's item, with one person tweeting that he'd sold his for $20 after waiting in line.