Coming soon, a new place for Happy Hour — Starbucks

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NEW YORK — Starbucks plans to go beyond coffee and tea by having more of their stores sell beer and wine after 4 p.m.

Currently 26 Starbucks sell alcohol with that total is expected to reach 40 by the end of the year. The stores, which number about 11,000 in the U.S., also would serve small dishes such as flatbreads, bacon-wrapped dates, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, salted caramel and cheesecake brownies.

Within the next few years, thousands of locations would serve alcohol, spokeswoman Lisa Passé told USA Today.

“The concept is a natural progression for Starbucks as we seek to create a new occasion for customers to gather, relax and connect with each other in the evenings,” Passé says.

Still, coffee will be Starbucks’ bread and butter.

“In the true spirit of a traditional coffeehouse, while some stores may serve wine and beer, coffee will remain the focus of the experience,” Passé said.

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