Tully’s Follies: Starbucks Strikes Back, or ...

Tully’s Follies: Starbucks Strikes Back, or What Becomes Of A McDreamy Deferred?


Turns out not everyone is a McDreamy fan: Starbucks is fighting back hard against actor Patrick Dempsey’s bid to buy the beleagured Seattle-based coffee company Tully’s. Starbucks wants to buy the chain and turn its cafe locations in Starbucks, in what amounts to a kind of scorched earth, smite-thy-enemies “Game of Thrones”-esque end game for the two longtime rivals. McDreamy wants to keep Tully’s chugging along, serving coffee roasted by Green Mountain and allowing for longime patrons to, you know, redeem their gift cards and stuff.

The Wall Street Journal is all over it:

Losers at the bankruptcy auction for the Tully’s coffee shops are asking the court to reject the winning $9.1 million bid from actor Patrick Dempsey, arguing that the “Grey’s Anatomy” star whom Hollywood calls “McDreamy” unfairly charmed auctioneers to win the 47-location chain without putting in the highest bid.

Anyone who’s ever looked into his eyes would understand.

The Seattle Times has gone bango-bonzo bananas with excitement over the possibility of McDreamy calling the “shots” for Tully’s 17 Washington State locations. From an official SeaTimes board editorial earlier this week:

Tully’s was almost killed in the recession. Since October it has been reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy laws, and its assets are on the block. It’s good news that the committee of management and creditors chose the bid by Global Baristas, and even better news if the federal bankruptcy judge approves it.

Global Baristas’ $9 million bid was for all of Tully’s, with the intention of running it as an independent company. That implies preserving jobs, competition and consumer choice.

Their endorsement also implies more photo ops like these, wherein Mr. Dempsey gets flirty with some Tully’s baristas.


By far the best coverage of the Tully’s / McDreamy / Starbucks love den comes from Seattle Times business reporter Melissa Allison. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonSeattle for the minutiae as it unfolds, including live tweets from today’s court room drama!





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