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New cafe franchise opens in Russia after Starbucks pulled out

New cafe franchise opens in Russia after Starbucks pulled out

It's got a new name and a new look.... or does it?

Look out Starbucks, there's a new cafe franchise in Russia.

After Starbucks shuttered their stores in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, everyday Russians were left without their precious bean juice.

But now Russian businessman Anton Pinsky and pro-Putin rapper Timur Yunusov have come up with a solution.

Let us introduce you to Stars Coffee.

And yes, it does look familiar. It's not just you. No, that's not the Starbucks mermaid. That's a girl in a kokoshnik so they're very different. Can't you tell?

Nikolay Vinokurov/Alamy Live News

Apparently chucking a traditional Russian headdress in the mix makes the logo different enough. You do you, Russia.

Yunusov, best known for his 2015 song entitled ‘My Best Friend is Vladimir Putin’, explained to Reuters that they had used a similar logo for continuity's sake.

Yunusov said they decided to go with the same circular shape and 'female gender' of the Starbucks logo.

He also said it contrasted nicely with the cigar-hued 'masculine colour' in the Stars logo.

Pinskiy and Timati acquired the rights to Starbucks' leftover assets in Russia and bought all 130 stores previously owned by the US coffee giant.

Pinskiy, an entrepreneur and businessman, hit out at those drawing comparisons between Starbucks and Stars' logos.

"People’s perceptions may be different," Pinskiy told Reuters.

"But if you compare, then apart from the circle, you won’t find anything in common."

Stars Coffee will also boast a different menu and coffee sourced from different suppliers compared to their US doppelgänger.

Nikolay Vinokurov / Alamy Stock Photo

"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," Pinskiy told Reuters.

Stores will gradually open across Russia throughout August and September.

Starbucks has so far declined media requests to comment on the similarity of the logo and name.

This isn't the first time Russia has pulled a same-same-but-different.

In June, fast-food chain Uncle Vanya's opened their doors for the first time to replace the gap that was left by McDonald's after the burger giant cut off Russian operations in response to the Ukraine crisis.

And, yeah, that branding is pretty bloody familiar.

There's also Vkusno & Tochka, another fast food eatery which also sends straight up McDonld's vibes.

Everything from the packaging to employee uniforms looks like a McDonald's rip off, though that appears to be intentional in order to keep things as similar as possible to the way they were.

Essentially the product names changed and were presented under a different logo.

As they say, you might be able to put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

Featured Image Credit: Nikolay Vinokurov/Alamy Live News.

Topics: Russia, News, Starbucks