You've bean had - the new Starbucks stealth store
At first glance it looks like some uber-cool indie coffee house, tucked away on the street front without any glaring bells and whistles. No menus or signage or bright neon lights to attract the mentally incapacitated through the door. The sort of place you hang out in because it doesn't draw the crowds:
There's live music, wine and beer available over the counter, espressos made manually. Yep, no doubt about it, it's everything an independent coffee house should be, a welcome retreat from the soulless glass boxes operated by cold corporations like Starbucks. Oh, hang on a minute:
It's not inspired by Starbucks at all, it is bloody Starbucks - after seeing profits tumble, they're experimenting with coffee shops that abandon the brand name altogether, in favour of a community environment that consumers still care about. The first is in the Starbuck heartland of Seattle, where they've been upsetting other independent owners by sending teams of staff into their shops to snoop on how they work.
Another two are due to open in Seattle shortly. If they're successful, expect these Starbucks stealth stores to arrive in your city soon. And no, you still won't see much change out of a fiver for a coffee and piece of fucking lemon drizzle cake.