Starbucks in stealth mode: Just add beer


On the front of the store will be an understated, inconsequential name: 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea. Just like most of the hyper-local coffee shops, it will sell a variety of its own brand of coffee drinks and premium teas, as well as wine and beer. Being named after the street on which it's located? Gives it a "community personality," says one of its managers. In the location, which used to be a Starbucks (SBUX), a rustic-orange background with a blackboard-style sign announces, "YOUR neighborhood coffee shop is getting a makeover."

Power to the independents? Down with big corporate McSame coffee? Ummm, not so much. Starbucks is going stealth. It's taking down its branding in this Seattle store in the Capital Hill neighborhood and replacing it with a new concept that will also be unveiled in two other new and yet-to-be-named Seattle-area locations: which can be described as Starbucks Stealth (just add beer).