A comedian known for a Comedy Central prank show came forward today as the owner of the Dumb Starbucks coffee shop in Los Feliz that attracted crowds of curious customers over the weekend, but shortly after he revealed his identity, his store was shuttered by the county Health Department.
Nathan Fielder held a news conference in the parking lot of the store at 1802 Hillhurst Ave. and posted a video online, saying the addition of the word “Dumb” in the name legally qualified it as a parody.
“By adding the word `dumb,' we are legally allowed to use the coveted Starbucks name and logo, because we've fulfilled the minimum requirements to be considered a parody under U.S. law,” Fielder said in a video posted on Twitter.
“... Many of you probably know me as a comedian, but this is no bit or joke,” he said. “This is a real business I plan to get rich from.”
Fielder, who appears on the Comedy Central show Nathan for You, said he plans to open a second location in Brooklyn.
Shortly after his news conference, however, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health showed up at the Los Feliz store and posted a “notice of closure” on the door, saying the business was “operating without a valid public health permit.”
The store opened quietly on Friday, but by Sunday, it had crowds of people gathering, trying to figure out if the store was real or a joke. The shop features the signature Starbucks logo, and sells the same type of beverages. It even sells CDs with titles such as “Dumb Jazz Standards.”
Officials with Starbucks issued a statement saying they were aware of the shop.
“It is not affiliated with Starbucks,” according to the statement. “It is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating our next step. While we appreciate the humor of the store, they cannot use our name. It is a protected trademark.”--City News Service