'Dumb Starbucks' Closed Down - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Dumb Starbucks' Closed Down

Posted: Updated:
The LA County Department of Health Services has slapped the store with a notice of closure for operating without a valid public health permit. The LA County Department of Health Services has slapped the store with a notice of closure for operating without a valid public health permit.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

Could the whole "Dumb Starbucks" thing just be an elaborate publicity grab? The man behind the Los Angeles sensation that is "Dumb Starbucks" revealed himself on Monday as the star of a Comedy Central show who insists he is committed to his bizarre parody business model.

Nathan Fielder, star of "Nathan For You," stepped out as the CEO of the coffee shop and addressed camera crews and curious Angelenos Monday afternoon outside his uber-popular storefront dubbed "Dumb Starbucks."

But the limelight might be fading for the parody shop now that the LA County Department of Health Services has slapped the store with a notice of closure for operating without a valid public health permit.

The store popped up seemingly out of nowhere in a Los Feliz strip center Feb. 7 in the storefront that once housed the now-defunct Gastronomico.

#DumbStarbucks was the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Los Angeles. The pop-up coffee shop took social media by storm as hundreds of Angelenos tweeted about their fascination with the "dumb" business, including some who waited in line for hours just to get a peek.

"Dumb Starbucks" Draws Crowds - and Plenty of Questions

"As long as we're making fun of Starbucks, we're allowed to use their corporate identity," Fielder told the crowd.

Fielder's show, "Nathan For You," is a docu-reality comedy show in which Fielder uses his background in business to offer up new, non-traditional business strategies.

Despite the revelation of the Dumb Starbucks owner's comedy background, Fielder would not say whether the store was part of his show.

The show's slogan, "Real People. Real Business. Results Not Guaranteed" is in line with Dumb Starbucks' online fact sheet that maintains the store is, in fact, a real business.

But Fielder has been known to stage elaborate hoaxes, including a YouTube video showing a pig rescuing a baby goat -- which was actually staged with animal trainers and crew members. The video had more than 8 million views as of Monday.

The logo adorning the Dumb Starbucks storefront and coffee cups is that of the actual Starbucks, but with the word "dumb." The same protocol applies to the entire menu, down to the "dumb" tall, grande and venti sizes.

The imitation coffee chain, aware of its mind-boggling business model, claims its existence at 1802 Hillhurst Avenue is allowed thanks to "parody law" in a Frequently Asked Questions list posted via Twitter.

"By adding the word 'dumb,' we are technically 'making fun of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as 'fair use.'"

The FAQ goes on to explain, "Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons, Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art ... But that's for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!"

Confused yet curious consumers took to Twitter as they lined up outside the coffee shop in question on Saturday and Sunday.

"Are your dumb coffees still free today?" @LukeOneil47 asked.

"That does it, I'm opening a parody coffee shop called 'Not Dumb Starbucks," @Abobrow said.

"'It may be fake but the work is real' (overheard from the dumb Starbucks baristas),'" @TheBrockyRoad tweeted with a picture of an employee complete with a green apron and black hat with the logos for - you guessed it - Dumb Starbucks.

Fielder explains in a YouTube video how he was able to market "Dumb Starbucks," and describes the stunt as "a real business I plan to get rich from."

This article was written by NBC News

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:08:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • Carlton Complex Fire now 243,291 acres; 1,600+ firefighters on scene

    Carlton Complex Fire now 243,291 acres; 1,600+ firefighters on scene

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:17 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:17:26 GMT
    UPDATE: Late Sunday evening the fire was 243,291 acres in size. 1622 firefighters are assigned to the complex. The fire is currently 16% contained. Contact the “511” automated Washington Department of Transportation Travel Information line for updated information, or call (509) 667-2802.
    >>
    UPDATE: Late Sunday evening the fire was 243,291 acres in size. 1622 firefighters are assigned to the complex. The fire is currently 16% contained. Contact the “511” automated Washington Department of Transportation Travel Information line for updated information, or call (509) 667-2802.

    >>
  • Boil Water issued by Okanogan County Health Department

    Boil Water issued by Okanogan County Health Department

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:47 AM EDT2014-07-22 06:47:39 GMT
    Per the Okanogan County Heath Department a Boil Water Notices has been issued for the following areas:Wolf Creek Property Owners Lost River Airport Alamo Orchards Camp Alta Lake Golf Course Town of Methow City of Pateros Emanuel Heiights Custom Orchard No. 1 The Okanogan Health Department has received word that the Mazama store and related drinking water system has continued to operate.>>
    Per the Okanogan County Heath Department a Boil Water Notices has been issued for the following areas:Wolf Creek Property Owners Lost River Airport Alamo Orchards Camp Alta Lake Golf Course Town of Methow City of Pateros Emanuel Heiights Custom Orchard No. 1 The Okanogan Health Department has received word that the Mazama store and related drinking water system has continued to operate.>>