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Soon, We'll All Work as Baristas

Asahi Shimbun reports that the Tully's, Starbucks, and Doutor coffee chains in Japan are expanding into all sorts of new areas: subway stations, corporate offices, gas stations, and more:

Japan's leading coffee chains are hatching plans that will soon have the habit-forming drink under the nation's nose at every turn: in subway stations, conference rooms and company foyers. Even at the gas station, freshly brewed lattes and mochas will be beckoning for customers' loose change.
Life is once again imitating Web satire, as in this Onion article (sadly no longer available on their site):
New Starbucks Opens In Restroom Of Existing Starbucks

CAMBRIDGE, MA--Starbucks, the nation's largest coffee-shop chain, continued its rapid expansion Tuesday, opening its newest location in the men's room of an existing Starbucks. "Coffee lovers just can't stand being far from their favorite Starbucks gourmet blends," said Chris Tuttle, Starbucks vice-president of franchising...

According to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the new location represents the beginning of a long-term expansion plan. "Eventually, Starbucks rest rooms everywhere will sell coffee," Schultz said. "But that ambitious scheme is at least five years down the road. In the meantime, we plan to open an additional location in this Starbucks' ladies' room within months, and are already drafting plans for a fourth restaurant along the corridor leading from the main seating area to the rest rooms. At some point a 'Starbucks Express' window will eventually open in the walk-in closet of the men's room Starbucks."

"Drink our coffee," Schultz said. "Drink it."

As far as I've seen, the peak of the real-world Starbucks phenomenon is in downtown Vancouver, where the Robson I and Robson II stores are located across an intersection from one another. And yes, I've had coffee at both. But not on the same day. I have my limits.

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