A mid-sized vision of suburban sprawl on the southeast coast of Florida, the city of Port St. Lucie has a few claims to fame- it’s the former home of Megan Fox and the current home of Vanilla Ice, Garth Brooks, and thousands upon thousands of retirees from Long Island and the five boroughs, making traffic a sluggish nightmare during Mets spring training. Mentions of PSL were even seen in the heydays of the Sopranos.
These days, Port St. Lucie is making headlines for another reason- the City Council has decided that Starbucks’ use of the acronym “PSL” for its uber-popular fall drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, is an infringement upon the city’s long-standing colloquial abbreviation. Recently, the city filed a cease and desist order against the Seattle-based coffee giant, and has vowed further legal action if they don’t stop using the abridgement in advertising and in handwritten barista notes on cups.
A Starbucks spokeswoman responded, calling the legal action both “arbitrary and capricious,” and said that Starbucks has no intention of refraining from the use of the initials in print or television advertising, and is directing baristas to continue using the abbreviation on cups in all of its 20,000 plus stores worldwide.
Rumors of Starbucks considering a closure of all stores within the Port St. Lucie city limits have begun to run rampant throughout town, and Starbucks refused comment on the matter, fueling speculation that the caffeine peddler may be taking the PSL out of PSL for good. Hundreds of latte-crazed citizens have packed recent City Council meetings to express their anxiety over the potential loss of their favorite bean-pushing baristas.
While both sides seem to be at an impasse for now, the residents of the city fear the worst. “We’ll just keep coming to these meetings until they drop the lawsuit,” warned B. Leonard Halifax, “we need to keep the Pumpkin Spice Latte in PSL.” More to come as this brew-ha-ha develops.