starbucks1 Starbucks' attempt to go local starts tomorrow when it unveils its latest venture in Seattle called 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea, an artisan-esque café filled with rustic wood and straight-back chairs. The sign outside reportedly reads 'Inspired by Starbucks', but the truth behind it is 'Owned and operated by Starbucks.' I don't think anyone is missing out on the fact that it is a corporate venture, but I can't shake a sense of cynicism as they try to take two steps left. An interesting exercise in unbranding, or the business version of an extreme makeover, that reads as a desperate attempt to back away from a business model that has turned stale and cliché. I could applaud a return to their Northwest roots. But while the Seattle Times explains that it will sell a rotating menu of beer and wine alongside the usual offerings of coffee, tea, and food, the Seattle Metblogs reports that only one wine is from the Northwest (Oregon to be precise). Not so convincing for a local venture.