Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'll have a grande skim peppermint white chocolate mocha with whipped cream, prosím

It's official: after countless pages of web forum gossip and years of anticipation, the big green mermaid is making her way to Prague.


Starbucks -- that small-business-usurping, mass-litter-generating, cookie-cutter comfort zone for coffee drinkers who don't like coffee -- will soon be opening its doors in the Czech Republic.

The first location is set to open at the end of January in the Grömlingovský palác on Malostranské náměstí, formerly the home of Kampa Group's Square restaurant. More stores are to follow, including at least one in the Palladium shopping center (MF Dnes has speculated that the coffee chain will replace Palladium's two Iceland cafés, which are owned by Starbucks franchisee AmRest).

Good news? Bad news? Who cares? Leave us a comment below.

Image: Starbucks.com

11 comments:

matesola said...

Good news with no discussion :) Can´t wait for my first Prague Frapuccino :))
Btw. Nice pages. Keep goin´ hip hip

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they'll do a decent amount of business if they choose tourist-friendly locales (and they surely will). I wonder how much of a mark they'll make on the local market though, particularly as coffee-to-go isn't so much of a novelty any longer. Coffee Heaven has done a decent job of spreading its empire (even in the Prague airport!!). Starbucks probably shot themselves in the foot by staying out so long and giving time for more local (or regional, in the case of Polish-Brit Coffee Heaven) companies to spring up and get a foothold.

popovicka kozicka said...

I don't mind admitting it - I'm looking forward to it. If only the word "starbucks" didn't have so much baggage attached to it...but I'm a huge fan of their chai lattes, and I won't say no to their scones either...poo poo it all you like...it has its place in the culinary world. :)

Oh, and welcome back Laura! Nice to see you writing again :)

Laura said...

Thanks, matesola and kozicka! There was a lot of talk about Starbucks buying out all the Coffee Heaven locations, but now that that's not happening, it'll be interesting to see how the competition between the two pans out.

Katerina said...

It's annoying to see another chain, sure... but what is truly sad is that the legendary Malostranska kavarna of yore, destroyed by Nils Jebens, will now turn into an overpriced coffee joint where you drink from plastic cups. THAT is sad.

I don't like Starbucks' coffee - too burned tasting. But I really hate their soulless interiors.

Anonymous said...

Katerina woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

For the record, the coffee comes in paper cups. Unless it's iced. lol!

Katerina said...

Oh yeah, paper cups... how could I forget. And Saran-wrapped muffins, yum. And the smallest size coffee you can get is about a pint...

mr. zucchini said...

katerina:

And the smallest size coffee you can get is about a pint...

they are making pretty solid espresso (25ml) in procelain too... (in switzerland)

Katerina said...

It will be interesting to see how they behave in Prague. Some branches (in similarly historical locales) in CH and D are pretty stylish, more like traditional cafés, and they do use porcelain. I wonder if they'll make the effort here but somehow doubt it - from what's visible through the windows, this looke to be a standard issue SB like any in the States... ie. ideal for coffee to go or antisocial laptop users seated one per table...

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will be like the locations in Berlin. If you want to drink your coffee there they'll give you porcelain but if you want it "sebou" they'll give it to you in paper.

There's free WiFi at dozens of Prague cafes and you'll have a hard time finding a seat at those places because of it as well. However, at Starbucks at least you can sit down and share a table with someone. I'd like to see someone try that at Cafe Cafe!

R. said...

Interesting: http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?id=820

I guess that they actually restored a lot of what Square tore out.