Speculation brewed for days over the origins of Dumb Starbucks, the seemingly rogue coffee shop that opened in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles over the weekend and was suddenly shut down Monday by the health department.
Frothy curiosity and furious Twitter queries were finally satisfied at a news conference at the Hillhurst Avenue location, where comedian Nathan Fielder of the Comedy Central show “Nathan for You” revealed that he’s the man behind the faux cafe.
The store, which had out-the-door lines for several days, attracted crowds to its mini-mall storefront with a nearly exact copy of a legitimate Starbucks Corp. chain store. Its menu featured Dumb Iced Coffee, Dumb Frappuccinos and Wuppy Duppy Lattes, and its shelves stocked “dumb” music CDs.
Dressed in a green Dumb Starbucks apron, an in-character Fielder told the crowd he’s always wanted to open a small business.
“There have been lines around the block, and very few small businesses get that from the start,” he said, noting that capitalizing on Starbucks’ name helped the business take off.
He did not elaborate on his plans for the store, except to say he hopes to open a second location in Brooklyn, N.Y.
That was shortly before the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said it had shut down the establishment for operating without a health permit.
Fielder’s “Nathan for You,” which was renewed for a second season last year, was the subject of much of the chatter before the disclosure. The series follows Fielder as he gets business owners to try absurd schemes. In one episode, he had a gas station owner offer extremely low prices — but only through a rebate that customers must deliver to a mountaintop.