The next time you visit the Starbucks in several Long Island communities, you can follow that coffee with a chaser of wine or beer.
Stores in Miller Place, Huntington, East Northport and Hauppauge are among the first on the Island to add wine and beer to their menus.
The Long Beach store also has received approval to add alcohol. Serving wine and beer has been opposed by some local officials and advocacy groups there, who argue that the city already has many venues that do so. Repeated efforts to contact the Long Beach store were unsuccessful.
The Nesconset Starbucks will begin serving wine and beer May 24, a worker there said Friday. Others units on Long Island are awaiting the go-ahead from the State Liquor Authority. Wine and beer sales have been under way at Starbucks elsewhere in the country under the Starbucks Evenings menu program.
In Miller Place, the current beer selections include Brooklyn Brewery’s India Pale Ale and Greenmarket Wheat, as well as Coney Island Brewing Company’s Mermaid Pilsner. The beers are $5 or $6. The wines include Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay for $12, Carmel Road Pinot Noir for $10, Alamos Malbec for $8, and Mionetto Prosecco for $8.
Employees at the Huntington and Miller Place locations said sales were picking up as the availability of wine and beer is increasingly known. The Huntington store has beer and wine from the same producers.
At both, the priciest wine is Justin Winery’s Justification red blend, which comes in at $14.
Starbucks introduced the new menu to boost business in the late afternoon and evenings, when coffeehouses tend to be quieter, said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst with Port Washington-based NPD Group. It could be especially appealing to women who want a more casual, “bistro”-like environment than they would find in a bar, Riggs said. “It’s one way of driving more traffic.”
In Long Beach, Judi Vining, executive director of Long Beach AWARE, an advocacy group that focuses on substance abuse prevention and mental health, said she was disappointed that the chain went ahead with its plans for wine and beer service there despite local opposition. Long Beach restaurants, bars and stores hold 87 active liquor licenses, state records show.
The city already has too many venues serving alcohol, Vining said. Now, she said, the Starbucks located near the library, City Hall and Kennedy Plaza “is no longer a place where kids can hang out without being exposed to adult drinking.”
— with Maura McDermott and Aisha al-Muslim