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Saturday 2 August 2014

'Dumb Starbucks' owner revealed as Comedy Central comedian as store shut down by health officials

Clare Cullen

Published 11/02/2014|10:52

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The owner of the much-discussed 'Dumb Starbucks' coffee shop that recently opened in LA has held a "press conference" to discuss the shop's controversial image.

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The coffee shop opened last week and received worldwide attention due to it's use of the official Starbucks logo and branding across it's merchandise. The shop also gave out free "dumb" coffee.

Nathan Fielder gave a press conference as the owner of Dumb Starbucks. The comedian announced he would be opening "another Dumb Starbucks in Brooklyn... I'm going to ride this out as long as I can."

"We are using the logo under parody law", says Fielder, referring to the clause in copyright law which allows for 'fair use' for 'homage or parody'. "My entire marketing plan depended on using their corporate logo to get attention."

Fielder responded that he was "not worried" about Starbucks "taking a case they would lose" but that he is unhappy with the way Starbucks have handled the situation.

"Starbucks has not contacted me personally but they have made statements to the press that I am kind of disappointed with... they risk losing me as a customer."

When questioned on his coffee credentials, Fielder clarified "I am not an actor...well, I do have a reality show."

Fielder also had to field questions on health and safety in the coffee shop. "Legally speaking, we are operating under an art gallery. The coffee you are buying is the art."

He continued, to laughter of the assembled onlookers "We do not have a health permit. As we are an art gallery, we did not have to pay those fees and we did not pass those savings on to the customers."

When asked his end goal, he replied "The American Dream".

The press conference ends when Fielder spots the Health Department.

The logo for  "Dumb Starbucks" coffee shop is seen outside the shop, February 10, 2014, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, CA.  The store resembles a Starbucks but with the word "Dumb" added before "Starbucks."  All food and drink in the store is free.  AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The logo for "Dumb Starbucks" coffee shop is seen outside the shop, February 10, 2014, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, CA. The store resembles a Starbucks but with the word "Dumb" added before "Starbucks." All food and drink in the store is free. AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Nathan Fielder, host of the Comedy Central show "Nathan For You," steps forward as being behind the Dumb Starbucks store in the Los Feliz neighborhood February 10, 2014 in Los Angeles California. The new shop, which bills itself as a parody of the iconic coffee chain, opened recently offering all of its items for free. The real Starbucks says it is reviewing its options, according to published reports.  (Photo by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Nathan Fielder, host of the Comedy Central show "Nathan For You," steps forward as being behind the Dumb Starbucks store in the Los Feliz neighborhood February 10, 2014 in Los Angeles California. The new shop, which bills itself as a parody of the iconic coffee chain, opened recently offering all of its items for free. The real Starbucks says it is reviewing its options, according to published reports. (Photo by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)
People wait in a long line to get into a coffee shop named "Dumb Starbucks" February 10, 2014, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, CA.  The store resembles a Starbucks but with the word "Dumb" added before "Starbucks."  All food and drink in the store is free.  AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait in a long line to get into a coffee shop named "Dumb Starbucks" February 10, 2014, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, CA. The store resembles a Starbucks but with the word "Dumb" added before "Starbucks." All food and drink in the store is free. AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

"I guess the Health Department are here... they are not allowing us to serve coffee right now."

Whether or not the coffee shop was an actual attempt at business or an expensive stunt to promote Fielder's new show, Dumb Starbucks was really shut down by the Los Angeles Health Department for operating without a valid health permit. 

The Twitter account for the parody store already has over 12,000 followers.

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