Dumb Starbucks emerged as a pop up coffee shop and viral parody over the weekend in Los Feliz, California. Explained as a fair-use art project, "Dumb Starbucks" was serving free "dumb vanilla lattes," "dumb caramel macchiatos"...you get the point. Rainn Wilson and Community creator Dan Harmon were some of the first celebs to post pics, making many think they were behind the wacky project. Just like moths to a fire, the stunt created a frenzy among Angelenos and media alike. The "cafe" set up in a non-descript strip mall quickly become an hot attraction.
Everyone wanted to know who was behind it. Ad-exec Marc Horowitz got some immediate attention when he pranked the web posting about his successful project on his Facebook. Then finally, Monday afternoon the official @dumbstarbucks account tweeted they would be holding a press conference at the location. At 4pm PT, the creator behind the viral hoax revealed himself to be none other than Comedy Central star Nathan Fielder of "Nathan For You". He told the hounds of reporters and intrigued dumb coffee goers that he wants to open another store in NYC in the next 2 weeks and is not worried about being shut down by Starbucks.
Starbucks did issue the following statement Monday: “We are obviously aware of the Dumb Starbucks location in Los Feliz. It is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating our next step. While we appreciate the humor of the store, they cannot use our name. It is a protected trademark.”
While Starbucks has yet to shut down the idea, according to LA Times, "The Los Angeles County Health Department did shut down Dumb Starbucks for not having proper permits to operate. The department posted a sign on the shop's window after Fielder's announcement."