Originally posted on 3/31/2006

It looks like the Coca Cola Company is jumping into the coffee restaurant industry. The beverage giant has been suffering from declining sales in its sugar water category and is naturally looking for brand extensions. Taking on Starbucks will be a difficult task especially with a lackluster name such as Far Coast.

TORONTO - Its a small deal that could pack a big pop, or just a little fizz. Coca-Cola has quietly leased a 4,000-square-foot retail space in Toronto, according to a report in Forbes. While it's just a storefront, it foreshadows what insiders say is the Atlanta-based beverage giant's dreams of dunking Starbucks in its own brew.

The lease, for a space that is much larger than the average Starbucks space, went into effect April 1, the same day Coca-Cola drench the world in Coca-Cola Blak, which a spokesman describes as a carbonated Coca-Cola Classic-based beverage that finishes with a rich essence of coffee.

But the spokesman declined to discuss or even confirm the Toronto lease, which was confirmed by real estate and design industry sources in Manhattan and Toronto. Coke was represented in the deal by CB Richard Ellis, which also refused to discuss the transaction, according to the report.

Coke's spokesman did confirm that the Atlanta company has trademarked a hot-beverage brand name, FarCoast, although he would not elaborate further. Far Coast is a brand that will be launching in the future. It's a hot brewed product, said the spokesman.