This 'Fake Starbucks' Location In Venezuela Has The Internet Divided

Starbucks has inspired some serious copycats over the years. A restaurant called Stars & Bucks popped up in Palestine and serves a similar menu to the traditional coffee chain, in addition to providing hookahs to its patrons, per The Recipe. According to the same article, a small red hut called Star Box Coffee also once appeared in London and got targeted by Starbucks due to the similarity in names. After losing the case, the London café currently goes by Box Coffee. And, now another Starbucks knockoff has made waves in Venezuela — and people aren't taking kindly to it.

The Daily Mail reports that a Venezuelan café called We Proudly Serve opened inside a supermarket in Caracas and uses the official Starbucks logo in its branding. The owner of the shop has admitted that the café has nothing to do with Starbucks, despite the fact that the staff wear knockoff T-shirts and serve up a similar drink menu priced between $3 and $7. Starbucks doesn't officially operate in Venezuela, and Nestlé (who is authorized to sell Starbucks products in the country, according to the article) has issued a statement clarifying that We Proudly Serve isn't a Starbucks location. The owner has agreed, claiming that, despite the branding, he operates an independent business and plans to keep his café open.

Why the 'fake' Starbucks has shaken up social media

TikTok user @ladivaza couldn't believe their eyes when they stepped through the doors of We Proudly Serve. The video shows a packed café with long lines that looks suspiciously like a Starbucks. While the social media user was simply taken aback, the comments painted another, angrier story. Outraged comments translated to, "Venezuela has not changed the rich part, why has the poor part not changed?" and, "Well I think there are still no Starbucks." Others simply claim, "Faaaaalse Starbucks." The appearance of this store has caused a stir among many, partially due to the obvious fraudulent tactic and partially for selling expensive drinks in a country experiencing a massive economic depression (via El Pais).

Only time will tell what happens next to this knockoff Starbucks, but if the images on TikTok prove anything, this café has attracted quite a crowd. The ball appears to be in Starbucks' and Nestlé's court and any decision that they might make to sue over intellectual property infringement, which could make or break the future of We Proudly Serve. In the meantime, it seems the pricey lattes aren't going anywhere.