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Starbucks Slowly Backs Away From Evening Alcohol Plans in SF Stores

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To city officials’ delight

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some Starbucks across the country (Seattle, LA, Chicago) have been experimenting with Starbucks Evenings, when the chain stays open later to serve a small selection of wine, beer, and appetizers like truffle mac and cheese, parmesan-crusted chicken skewers, and grilled vegetables with lemon aioli. The plan, as of a year ago, was to bring the program to San Francisco — 9th and Irving in the Inner Sunset and Beach and Hyde in Fisherman's Wharf — but the city has blocked those plans.

From the beginning, city restaurant and bar owners were not pleased with the idea for competition reasons, and now the Board of Supervisors has chimed in, unanimously passing a vote on Tuesday asking the ABC not to issue licenses to businesses that haven’t sold alcohol as part of their original business plan. Plus, the San Francisco Police Department formally protested all three applications for community responsibility reasons. It all caused Starbucks to withdraw its beer and wine license applications, though the company was vague as to the reason why. San Francisco, 1; Starbucks, 0.

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