In Russia, Stars Coffee opens in Moscow to replace Starbucks

“Bucks is gone, the stars have stayed,” says the slogan of this Russian channel, which incorporates all the codes of the American channel.

Stars Coffee, a Russian chain that replaced the American coffee giant Starbucks in Russia after its departure due to the Ukrainian conflict, opened its first restaurant in Moscow on Friday with the slogan “Bucks is gone, the stars have stayed”.

“Why STARS? Because the new brand brings together the stars of the gastronomy industry”, explain in a press release the Russian rapper Timati and the restaurateur Anton Pinski who acquired the 130 Starbucks restaurants in Russia at the end of July.

Brown has been added to the logo with the traditional colors of the American chain – green and white – and the little mermaid has been replaced by a girl in a “kokochnik”, a traditional Russian headdress.

The syrups for the coffee will now be locally made, while the menu of dishes and desserts will be completely redesigned by new chefs to offer a quality “better than ever”, assures Stars Coffe in a press release.

80% of employees stayed

Unlike the “Russian McDonalds” launched in June with great fanfare, Stars Coffee did not make a big advertising campaign for the opening of its first restaurant on Novy Arbat street, in the center of the Russian capital.

A modest official ceremony took place on Thursday evening for a few celebrities and a handful of journalists, with the general public being invited from Friday.

All of the chain’s restaurants are due to open in Russia by the end of September, according to the owners.

About 80% of some 2,000 employees who worked for Starbucks have agreed to stay with the new chain, according to the same source.

Starbucks, which had temporarily closed the 130 establishments bearing its name in Russia after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, announced at the end of May that it had made the decision to leave the country definitively.

The American chain known for its “latte” and “frappuccino” had opened its first cafe in Russia in 2007 and operated there through a partner, a Kuwaiti group which owned and managed the licensed establishments.

After the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and the imposition of economic sanctions, major Western companies found themselves under great pressure to distance themselves from Moscow, for ethical reasons or difficulties in doing business.

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