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'Dumb Starbucks' in Los Feliz shut down by health department

The LA County Department of Public Health shut down the faux coffee shop calling itself Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz Monday.
February 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shut down the coffee shop calling itself Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz on Monday.

Update: 'Dumb Starbucks' owner explains himself on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

The department said the faux coffee shop was closed for operating without a valid public health permit.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning between the department and the owner of the establishment, the department said. It was to be closed to the public.

A tweet on Friday from @dumbstarbucks said: "We're now open for business! Visit us at 1802 Hillhurst Ave in Los Angeles".

The owner, comedian Nathan Fielder, was unidentified until Monday.

The shop put out flyers with frequently asked questions, such as: "How is this even legal?" The short answer from Dumb Starbucks was "parody law." The flyer stated that, "In the eyes of the law, our 'coffee shop' is actually an art gallery and the 'coffee' you're buying is considered the art."

The real Starbucks company issued a statement Monday: "We are aware of the store, it is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark."

Dozens waited in line Sunday, some for an hour or more, to taste the Starbucks knock-offs, like dumb iced caramel macchiato, dumb ice vanilla latte and dumb ice cafe mocha. While some people didn't agree that the coffee is as good as the real deal, at least the coffee and pastries were free.

"I would say that I think Dumb Starbucks is pretty smart," said Brian Morrison. "What we're all in line for isn't coffee. It's a commentary, and the cup. I'm excited to save the cup. There's absolutely artistic value here."


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