Starbucks Coffee is America's most popular cafe. In fact, it may be the world's most popular cafe. Starbucks International has over 8500 locations in over 32 countries.
In 1971, the first Starbuck's Coffee opened in Seattle's Public Market: Pike Place. In 1983, Howard Schultz travelled to Italy and saw the popularity of Expresso Bars in Milan. This inspired Schultz to form his own company.
In 1987 he bought the assets of his former employer. At that time, there were 17 Starbucks locations in Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver British Columbia. By 1992, Starbucks was in 116 locations. That same year, Starbucks completed its first public offering on NASDAQ.
By 1996, Starbucks had 1.015 locations. In 1997, Starbucks Coffee opened its first international cafe in the Phillipines. As of this writing, 2004, Starbucks has yet to open in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, or Italy. It is from these countries that Chicago's immigrants host cozy coffee bars.
In Europe, coffee and tea compete for dominance. Whether it is coffee or tea, the traditional cafe atmosphere is relaxed. In America, the emphasis is on speedy service. Patrons are provided with refreshments and left to enjoy the day as they wish. Paninni, biscuits, and cookies may be on the menu. Outdoor seating in a patio type setting is also a highlight.
Can anyone imagine a european cafe drive-thru? Starbucks has one. It does a very brisk business.