I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. However, that was not always the case.
About eight years ago, I walked into the Starbucks near my office for the umpteenth time that week and handed over almost $2 for yet another “tall” brewed coffee. I sat in the shop for a little while, trying to be excited about my purchase. As I sipped my plastic-covered paper cup of lukewarm sludge with a quarter-inch of dregs circling the bottom because the barista was too lazy to brew a fresh pot, I asked myself, probably for the first time, “What the hell am I doing here?”
I didn’t have an answer. And I’ve only rarely been in a Starbucks since then.
One of the few times I’ll voluntarily enter a Starbucks nowadays is when I’m in an airport. So today, after clearing the TSA checkpoint at the Louisville airport, when Kathryn asked me if I wanted to use the $10 Starbucks gift card she had in her purse, it wasn’t totally in vain. Still, I initially declined.
However, as we passed by the Louisville Airport Starbucks, I realized something I hadn’t considered. Some Starbucks serve beer. Including this one.
The novelty of having a beer at Starbucks proved too enticing for me. So here I am, having an overpriced beer at a place where one normally has an overpriced coffee.
The selection of beer at this Starbucks is, at best, a disappointment. I have a feeling the “craft” beer I chose is probably a private label made for Starbucks. It tastes generic, but it cost almost $8 with tax.
The cashier admonished me that I couldn’t leave the store with my beer. As if I’d want to run through the terminal, high-fiving fellow travelers, showing them the beer I got at Starbucks.
The cashier then, for some reason, handed off the beer to a server to pour it into a glass for me. The server had to rummage through her purse to find a bottle opener, suggesting that, at almost 5 pm, I was the first person dumb enough to order a beer at this Starbucks today. If she had just handed me the bottle, I could have used the opener in my bag — one of the few tools TSA won’t take from me — and I would have enjoyed the full 12 ounces of beer Kathryn paid for, including the half-ounce she threw away with the bottle.
Now that the novelty has worn off and the glass is almost empty, this is probably the last beer I’ll have at Starbucks. At least until the next airport, and the next gift card burning a hole in Kathryn’s purse.