Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, will soon be offering wine and beer to their customers as a way to unwind.

The coffee giant plans to sell wine and beer in as many as 12 cafés in Atlanta and Southern California by the end of the year, a move which has worked well around its northwest US base.

The franchise said it will also sell “premium food offerings” as part of the expansion to cater for customers into the evening, which also involves a number of its outlets in Chicago.

The move “is a natural progression for us as we are always looking for ways to evolve and enhance the Starbucks experience based on what our customers are telling us,” said Clarice Turner, Starbucks’ senior vice president of US operations. “We’re pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re excited to see how the idea translates to other markets.”

Evening opening hours were first tried out in Seattle in October 2010, while five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Oregon currently serve wine, beer and premium food.

Late last year, the global coffee shop announced plans to bring the concept to locations in the Chicago area by the end of 2012. Atlanta and Southern California will each see four to six stores, also by the end of the year. The new premium food will include savoury snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads, while the wine and beer list will be “hand-selected to reflect local customer tastes and preferences, and will be refined over time”.

The move comes a year after Starbucks unveiled a new logo designed to conquer new markets.

The old ubiquitous logo – a deep green ring emblazoned with Starbucks Coffee, encircling a black-and-white siren –was replaced by a circular image of the green and white siren, with no mention of coffee or the company.

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