So when is a Starbucks not exactly a Starbucks?
It's not a riddle meant to stump. Rather, a question lovers of fine baked goods and easy-nice restaurant dining will be asking when they visit La Boulange, the expansive bakery-meets-eatery set to debut at La Brea Avenue and Fourth Street in mid-June.
Nope, there's no mermaid or green logo on the front, and San Francisco people will recognize the name, given the fact that La Boulange is a Bay Area favorite known for its fruit-laden pastries and bready foodstuffs.
But Starbucks, which recently acquired the loaf-laden chain, is pushing past typical bakery hours and traditional offerings with the La Brea outpost. Evening entrees, which will including sandwiches and build-your-own burgers, are not something we've seen at the cake-pop shops we typically grab our lattes at, nor are bars.
Yep, we said bars, and, nope, we didn't mean coffee bar, either. La Boulange'll boast a full bar, with a line of cocktails, beers, and wines. Everyone who ever predicted Starbucks would get into the bar business is correct, indeed, but note that the company is already offering select adult beverages at a few of its locations under the Evenings Menu header.
The Starbucks-La Boulange mash-up isn't new to regulars of the java powerhouse; La Boulange treats popped up in the shops starting a couple of years back.
As for the opening date of the pastry-packed, burger-stocked, cocktail-ready La Boulange? Circle Thursday, June 12 on your calendar.