A cafe, which was opened in Iraq’s Erbil in 2019 and holds the name and the logo of the international coffeehouse Starbucks, turned out to be irrelevant to the original brand despite the huge ceremony that was held.
Even though the cafe was opened around two years ago, the debate ignited again after a photo of a question from a customer on the official Instagram account ‘Starbucks Middle East,’ if the company owned any branches in Iraq and their reply, was released.
مرة أخرى!— Screen Mix (@ScreenMix) January 16, 2021
إفتتاح فرع مزيف لشركة المقاهي الشهيرة Starbucks في العراق بحضور مشاهير وشخصيات فنية ورياضية ودبلوماسية! pic.twitter.com/ybAbAzICLC
The company has rejected the rumors of having any branches in Iraq saying: “Hi, it is great to see your passion towards Starbucks! Currently, we do not have a Starbucks store in Iraq, however, we are continuously working on expanding our network and delivering the best customer service in the region.”
People have also denied the fact that this branch belongs to Starbucks; as it usually automatically adds any new cafe it opens to the map on the official website.
There's a @Starbucks in Erbil! The first S in this pic looks strange. Might sound silly, but if it's a genuine cafe this is a big deal. It means more and more brands consider the region safe and secure enough to open up their stores. Thank you @BabylonFM993 for spreading the joy. pic.twitter.com/R8VOxGFCuJ— Beri Shalmashi (@BeriShalmashi) September 9, 2019
I heard that a Turkish branch of @Starbucks has opened the Erbil branch with its Turkey license. So it doesn’t seem to be original as the branch is not yet added to the website.#Starbucks #Erbil https://t.co/lj2AZXgk1a pic.twitter.com/8kftv6jO7b— Baxtiyar Goran (@BaxtiyarGoran) September 10, 2019
In 2019, the fake Starbucks cafe was inaugurated in a big ceremony with several famous celebrities and diplomatic officials attending.
عندنا واحد في اليمن مزيف أيضًا والافتتاح قريب ??— انسان ? (@shyman220) January 16, 2021
Translation: “There’s also a fake branch here in Yemen and the opening is near.”
شفيهم التعليقات محسسيني ان ستاربكس شي ضروري بحياتك ومهم مثل الماء https://t.co/m2WHt9Avr5— Re:حسن (@nahizx) January 16, 2021
Translation: “According to the comments, it feels like Starbucks is like water and one of life's basic needs.”
Starbucks is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and is believed to be the world’s biggest coffee house chain. As of last year, the company operates over 30,000 locations worldwide in more than 70 countries.
The first ever branch was founded in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker at Seattle's Pike Place Market, then it was sold to Howard Schultz, who decided to make the coffee bean store a coffee shop serving espresso-based drinks.
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