February 7, 2014 will forever be marked down as a day in business infamy. Various social media sites and the like were absolutely ablaze with news about a certain little coffee shop that sprang up out of nowhere: Dumb Starbucks Coffee. It has since become a national sensation and a point of interest for many patrons. It was located in a small strip mall in Los Feliz, Ca and was met with a multitude of fanfare. People came from all over California to take a picture with the sign and behold the sight with their own eyes. Aside from the obvious appeal of a potential major trademark infringement case, it offered free coffee and pastries to those who ventured to wait out the 3+ hour line.
Starbucks publicly came out with a statement saying that while they appreciated the irony and humor present in the project, they did not appreciate the fact that their trademark was being used without their permission. Naturally, this brought about the topic of the legality of the establishment. The people responsible for “Dumb Starbucks”, however, then countered all claims stating that the purpose behind the phenomenon was for none other than a statement art piece. Needless to say, the small boutique style store was eventually shut down… but not for the obvious reasons. It turns out that the business did not have a permit to offer food, so the FDA made them close their doors a mere few days after they initially opened.
More recent reports have disclosed that the person behind the whole stunt was none other than Nathan Fielder, a comedian with his own show on Comedy Central entitled, “Nathan For You". The show is known for committing pranks on small businesses. Fielder has announced that he plans on opening another store in Brooklyn, NY in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled!