MILAN – The first of 130 cafés previously owned by Starbucks opened its doors in Moscow on Thursday under the new name of Stars Coffee. The rebranded coffee shops are owned by Russian businessman Anton Pinskiy, Russian rapper Timur Yunusov, known as Timati, and Sindika Company, who bought all 130 stores in the country from Starbucks Corp.
The new owners took an imitation strategy giving the operation an English-language name.
During the opening in central Moscow, they also revealed the chain’s new logo.
As many noticed, the logo could be the separated-at-birth twin of the iconic mermaid, with flowing hair, a small enigmatic smile and a star atop her head — though instead of a Starbucks crown she wears the traditional Russian kokoshnik headdress.
The menu would look familiar to any Starbucks customer with items like “frappuccitos” replacing “frappuccinos,” RBK reported.
The rebranding and reopening of former Starbucks coffee shops in Russia is similar to the reopening and rebranding of the former McDonald’s restaurants as Vkusno i tochka (litteraly: It’s Tasty — Period).
Timati, whose real name is Timur Yunusov, has been a vocal supporter of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as well as a self-described friend of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Seattle-based company said Thursday it had no comment on the new stores.
Less than 1% of Starbucks’ annual revenue came from its 130 shops in Russia, according to analyst estimates reported by CNBC.