Four Starbucks coffee houses on Long Island could soon start serving chardonnay and craft beers along with cappuccinos.
Locations in Long Beach, Huntington, East Northport and Hauppauge applied for permission this month to offer wine and beer, a spokesman for the state liquor authority said Monday.
Starbucks is "in the very early stages of considering" the four Long Island communities for its new "Evenings" menu of small-plate meals, wine and beer, a company spokeswoman said.
"It's a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take," the spokeswoman said in an email.
The locations on Long Island that have applied for wine-and-beer licenses, and the dates they applied, are:
Long Beach, 101 W. Park Ave., Oct. 2
Huntington, 1 Wall St., Oct. 6
East Northport, 3011 Jericho Turnpike, Oct. 14
Hauppauge, 513 Route 111, Oct. 14
News 12 Long Island reported earlier Monday that the two-story Starbucks on West Park Avenue in Long Beach has applied for a liquor license.
The liquor authority has received 14 applications from Starbucks across New York, including a shop in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn that applied in August 2014, won approval in December and put its license into effect in July, the state liquor authority spokesman said.
The cafe pours Brooklyn Brewery beers and a selection of wines including Malbec and moscato starting at 4 p.m.
Starbucks hopes its new menu will attract more customers late in the day and add $1 billion in annual sales by 2019; it has applied for liquor licenses at several hundred locations nationwide.
The new menu should be especially appealing to women, said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst with Port Washington-based NPD Group. "The whole bar scene is not where a lot of women want to be," she said.
Restaurant traffic is flat, so eateries are looking for ways to stand out and attract new patrons, she said.
Not everyone supports the idea.
Long Island doesn't need any more impaired driving, underage drinking and alcoholism, said Jeffrey Reynolds, president of Family and Children's Association in Mineola, which offers addiction treatment programs. "Consuming alcohol and coffee together poses unique challenges as caffeine often masks the effects of alcohol, leaving those who are intoxicated feeling less impaired than they actually are," Reynolds said.
Others dismissed those concerns. Starbucks patrons are seeking a quiet, pleasant place to meet, and they are unlikely to cause problems, said Mark Tannenbaum, president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
"I don't think anyone is going to go in there and, for lack of a better word, get hammered, I don't think they're going to see dancing girls on the tables," Tannenbaum said.
Starbucks is not the only "fast casual" chain on Long Island to serve alcohol.
Chipotle Mexican Grill holds liquor licenses at 11 locations on the Island, including one in downtown Great Neck Plaza. The licenses allow it to serve liquor as well as wine and beer.
"We've never heard a complaint," said Patricia O'Byrne, village clerk in Great Neck Plaza, whose Chipotle offers margaritas and beers. "They're model citizens, or at least the people drinking there are."
Starbucks' newest offerings
Starbucks aims to offer its "Evenings" menu of small plates, wine and beer at four Long Island locations.
A sample menu includes 10 dishes, such as:
Truffle mac & cheese with herbed Parmesan bread crumbs
Salumi plate with prosciutto, coppa and cacciatore salami
Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo sausage
Ten wines, including: Erath pinot gris, Villa Maria sauvignon blanc, Lange Estate Winery pinot noir and Alamos malbec