‘Dumb Starbucks’ can’t outsmart health inspectors

People wait at Dumb Starbucks coffee in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The store resembles a Starbucks with a green awning and mermaid logo, but with the word "Dumb" attached above the Starbucks sign.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
People wait at Dumb Starbucks coffee in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The store resembles a Starbucks with a green awning and mermaid logo, but with the word "Dumb" attached above the Starbucks sign. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The brains behind the “Dumb Starbucks” coffee shop generated a lot of buzz with their publicity stunt — but they couldn’t outwit health inspectors, who shut the store on its fourth day for operating without a valid permit.

The television comedian who opened the shop had insisted he didn’t need a permit because the space was legally an art gallery and the coffee was art, not a beverage.

Los Angeles County health inspectors disagreed, and by Monday afternoon told the shop to stop serving coffee before posting a “notice of closure” by the front door.

Canadian comic Nathan Fielder told a crowd Monday afternoon that he was pursuing the “American dream,” before acknowledging that he planned to use the bit on his Comedy Central show “Nathan For You.”