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Starbucks the pub: coffee chain to sell beer and wine in London store

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"Grabbing a Starbucks" is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Beginning today, the world-famous coffee chain is selling wine and local craft beers in its first European 'Reserve' store in London's Covent Garden. 

The new outlet on Upper St Martin's Lane will serve booze and sharing platters from 4pm, alongside its day-long coffee offerings.

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Customers will be greeted by hosts at the new concept store in Covent Garden

Lengthy queues and awkward name requests for your paper cup are banished in this particular Starbucks, where hosts greet customers at the door, table service is provided and ordering is done through handheld tablets.

Describing the new venture as a "coffee theatre" the store-cum-bar has a sleek glass-front to show off trendy low-hanging pendant lighting and marble worktops where you're unlikely to find the remnants of the last customer's order.

The new look 'Bucks has also done away with the iconic green Medusa logo, opting for a discreet black sign. 

However, some of its fancy new coffees do come at a price, with unusual brews costing up to £6, while a standard tall cappuccino comes in at a competitive £2.65.

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Wine and craft beer will be served after 4 pm

"I think there's no mistaking that this store is all about the coffee but we also recognise that a lot of our customers want to come in the evening and enjoy a glass of wine or beer and a sharing platter," says Rhys Iley, vice president of Starbucks' operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Menu options include Madagascan vanilla lattes, sparkling mint espressos and sharing platters of cheeses, meats and flatbread. 

The US chain said the opening in London follows similar successful pilot schemes in Seattle.

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No more queues: Customers order their coffee, wine or beer through handheld devices

Starbucks' Reserve bar on Upper St Martin's Lane is open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm.

Images: Rex Features, Starbucks

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