The Powell Street Plaza Emeryville Starbucks is looking to become a local evening hangout spot as it considers launching a hot food and alcohol program they refer to as ‘Starbucks Evenings’. If picked, it would be the first location in the “East Bay Core” area of Emeryville, Berkeley & Oakland to launch the new program and bring some needed evening activity to the strip mall area. Alameda & Newark are other East Bay locations that are up for consideration. The menu would feature a selection of hot food items including bacon-wrapped dates, parmesan-crusted chicken skewers and truffle macaroni served after 4 p.m.. Other small-plate items would include a blue brie & apricot preserves plate and truffle popcorn.
An unspecified menu posted online also shows alcoholic beverages such as Prosecco, sparkling rosé, and a number of wines from Napa, Sonoma, and the Central Coast. Also available could be a selection of craft beer and dessert items as well. There’s no word yet on specific beer and wine that the Powell Street Plaza location could offer. An Alcohol and Beverage Control notice of application was posted in the store’s window on May 6. A representative from the Oakland branch of the ABC office stated that it could take three to four months for an applicant to complete the application process. A search in the ABC application database found a number of Bay Area Starbucks locations with pending ABC applications including Pleasanton, Burlingame & Newark among others.
A Starbucks corporate representative told The E’ville Eye through email, “We’re in the very early stages of considering the Bay Area for the evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process to decide if the evenings menu is the right fit for any market, including San Francisco, and the permit filing is one of many steps we take.” The company has already launched the Evenings program in other major metropolitan cities such as Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta & Los Angeles. The Evenings program is currently being offered in at least two Bay Area locations including one in Dublin and one in San Francisco.
Critics have so far mostly panned the offerings. Esquire magazine writing in regards to its Seattle launch, “the booze just isn’t very good. Particularly in a city that takes its microbrews seriously, the selection seems offensively out-of-touch.” It also noted that only bottled beer was available, not tap. LA Weekly stayed mum on their opinions on the taste of the food or drinks, but observed that the food is “made fresh and delivered daily, refrigerated, then heated in a convection oven.”