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WINE NEWS:

More Fast Food Chains Selling Beer and Wine

Sonic Burger joins Burger King and Starbucks

July 11, 2011

Sonic Burger's new Homestead location in Miami, Florida, which will begin selling beer and wine this week

Fast food chains, with their drive-through lanes and quickly prepared and consumed meals seem an unlikely place to sell beer and wine. But more and more of these restaurants are doing just that in an attempt to bolster their bottom lines. This week, Sonic Burger, which operates 3,500 locations nationwide, will begin selling beer and wine at its new Homestead location in Miami, Florida. A second location in Ft. Lauderdale plans to follow suit. Customers will be able to choose from among three draft beers, 25 bottled beers and ten wines.

Three of the six Whopper Bars — upscale versions of Burger King restaurants — recently began serving bottled beer in Las Vegas, Kansas City and Miami. Chuck Fallon, North America President, Burger King Corp., said at the opening of the Miami location in January 2010, "We are pleased to offer our guests the option of pairing America's Favorite Burger with a great American beer in this ideal destination." But critics feel this combo could encourage drunk driving as well as ruin the family-friendly atmosphere of fast food joints.

Even Starbucks recently started serving beer and wine in select Seattle locations. Starbucks' Olive Way shop was the first to do so under the brand's name, when it reopened in October 2010 following an extensive renovation. Serving alcohol after 4 p.m., this Starbucks location focuses on Pacific Northwest beers and wines, such as Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Snoqualmie "Naked" (Organic) Riesling. Beers sell for about $5 per bottle, while wines are available by the glass or bottle. But don't ask for them to-go!

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