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Starbucks to turn wine bar with alcohol and deli dishes

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We're not used to ordering a glass of Pinot alongside our daily latte and croissant, but that's exactly what you can now do at US branches of Starbucks. The eponymous coffee store is reaching out to an evening clientele with a new menu featuring regional wine, beer and bar treats such as truffle macaroni cheese, bacon-wrapped dates and Parmesan-coated chicken skewers.

Local wines and deli treats will be available at US Starbucks

Starbucks has already trialed the idea in 40 stores in Chicago, Southern California and Atlanta. It's been so successful that it will now roll the menu out in thousands of branches across the US - especially those in bustling urban hubs, near to restaurants and theatres.

The wine bar concept has not yet hit the UK; but what this space, as the world's biggest coffee chain says it plans to expand rapidly in the next few years.

"We’ve tested it long enough in enough markets — this is a programme that works," Starbucks chief operating officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg News. "As we bring the evening program to stores, there’s a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day."

Oprah Winfrey is launching a Starbucks tea

In the evening menu put forward by Starbucks, wine and beer options are available beyond 4pm. There are also a host of food options to add to the standard offering of danish pastries and muffins, including artichoke and goat's cheese flat bread and toasted walnut bread with fig preserves.

It's thought that the move to diversify and create greater revenue has been sparked by a rise in wholesale milk and coffee prices.

Starbucks is also targeting the tea market, with a celebrity-endorsed tea from Oprah Winfrey - the Oprah Chai Tea. All proceeds from sales will go to education charities such as the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

The store has more than 20,100 branches worldwide, with 11,500 in the US.

Photos: Rex Features

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