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PETA Plans Protests at Starbucks Headquarters Over Plant-Based Milk Charges [Updated]

Plus, downtown may actually have good bagels now and Smith gets new owners

PETA protestors plan to picket Starbucks headquarters Thursday afternoon.

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PETA Intolerant of Non-Lactose Prices

Is that extra charge for milk alternatives at coffee shops cruel and discriminatory? PETA sure thinks so. On Thursday, the organization announced a protest planned at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, demanding the chain drop its charges for vegan-friendly milk options (soy, coconut, almond, and the like). Picketers will hold up signs that read “Soymilk Surcharge Sux,” “Vegan Surcharge: Udder Nonsense,” and “Surcharge Unfair for People of Color” (because, according to PETA, the prices not only discriminates against animal rights advocates, but also people who are lactose intolerant, most of whom are people of color, according to some scientific studies). “Specialty espresso drinks that feature an alternative milk are priced in line with their milk based counterparts,” counters a rep for Starbucks, noting “beverage prices are based on a standard recipe, so any customizations that are not part of the standard recipe will incur a small charge.” While the amount varies by location, Starbucks and other coffee chains have often tried to offset the cost of carrying alternative milk products for years when customers have ordered such customizations (here’s why).

UPDATED, July 18, 2019, 4:22 p.m.: This item has been updated with a comment from Starbucks regarding the non-dairy milk charges.

Intriguing New Bagels Debut Downtown

Seattle isn’t exactly known for its plethora of bagel options. But Rubinstein Bagels — a new bagel purveyor now slinging its goods at Ethan Stowell’s recently-opened Cortina Cafe downtown — sounds intriguing. Wisconsin native Andrew Rubinstein started the business after eating disappointing bagels in the city, and pushes back against the myth that West Coast water is simply inferior. His bagels are hand rolled with a 10-year-old sourdough starter, fermented for 24 hours, boiled, and baked on a stone hearth, helping Rubinstein get a recommendation from the Seattle Times.

Popular Burger Spot in Capitol Hill Gets New Owners

In a neighborhood with plenty of dining shakeups, it’s always good to hear about smooth ownership transitions. According to Capitol Hill Blog, Seattle restaurateur Linda Derschang recently sold the popular Smith — which has a killer burger — to new owners Christopher Forcyzk and Marianne Ide with the understanding that very little will change at the venue. Derschang — who owns Oddfellows and Linda’s Tavern through her company Derschang Group — has shuffled her restaurant portfolio in recent years, selling Tallulah’s in 2018 and Bait Shop in 2016, while also buying Queen City Grill.


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