Russian restaurateur Anton Pinskiy and rapper Timati have opened the first ‘Stars Coffee' outlet in Moscow following the rebranding of 130 Starbucks sites they purchased after the Seattle-based coffee chain exited the Russian market in July
Stars Coffee has been launched by restaurateur Anton Pinskiy and Russian rapper Timati | Photo credit: Stars Coffee
The first Stars Coffee outlet has opened on the site of a former Starbucks store in Moscow. The site is the first of 130 locations purchased from the Seattle-based coffee chain following its exit from the Russian market in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Stars Coffee has been launched by restaurateur Anton Pinskiy and rapper Timati, who became co-owners of Starbucks’ former stores in Russia in July.
Pinskiy, whose business Pinskiy&Co operates a portfolio of 12 restaurants, including the Avocado Queen, Folk and Magadan brands, said further Stars Coffee stores would gradually reopen throughout August and September.
Speaking to reporters at the store opening, Timati said Star Coffee had obtained new suppliers and had established new production capacity to support the stores.
"We just found other suppliers, found the right roasters, and because the baristas mixed it all correctly, we have a product that we think will be competitive," he said.
Pinskiy said that Star Coffee had tried to find "continuity" from Starbucks branding, adding "if you compare them, apart from the circle, you won't find anything in common."
The new chain’s branding bears similarities to the Starbucks logo, featuring a circular female icon and a star graphic.
Any use of Starbucks branding for the venture is prohibited under the terms of the Seattle-based chain’s exit from the Russian market. Starbucks, which will continue to pay its 2,000 Russian employees until the autumn, has not commented on the new store.
The launch of Stars Coffee echoes that of the ‘It’s Tasty’ fast food chain, which took over McDonald’s sites after it exited the Russian market in May 2022, closing 154 McCafé locations and 850 restaurants.