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Starbucks to Sell Beer, Wine in Some SoCal Stores

The popular coffee shop says select locations in the Southern California area will offer wine, beer, and "premium food" by end of year.

Southern California Starbucks customers soon will be able to buy something a little stronger than coffee.

A handful of Southland Starbucks locations will begin offering wine and beer by the end of the year, the coffee giant announced Monday.

The company began offering beer, wine and premium foods at some of its stores in the Pacific Northwest beginning in October 2010.

Starbucks also previously announced plans to offer alcohol and upgraded food at seven Chicago stores by the end of the year.

Between four to six stores in both Southern California and Atlanta will be added to the expanding program by the end of the year. Exact locations for the program were not immediately announced.

"As our customers transition from work to home, many are looking for a warm and inviting place to unwind and connect with the people they care about," said Clarice Turner, Starbucks' senior vice president for U.S. Operations. "At select stores where it is relevant for the neighborhood, we are focused on creating an atmosphere where our customers can relax with a friend, a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee or glass of wine."

In addition to the wine, beer and stepped-up food offerings, the stores plan to also have "flexible seating" to accommodate individuals and small groups, as well as larger parties.

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