January 23/Seattle/Reuters -- Starbucks Corp plans to begin selling beer, wine and more upscale food in a small number of cafes in Atlanta and Southern California by the end of this year, as it explores an expansion beyond morning coffee and afternoon pick-me-ups.

Starbucks is planning to add beer, wine and food such as savory snacks and hot flatbreads to the menus in four to six outlets in both Atlanta and Southern California.

The world's biggest coffee chain started selling those items at a Seattle cafe in October 2010. Five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Oregon, now offer the extended menu.

Late last year, Starbucks announced similar plans for five to seven Chicago-area cafes by the end of 2012.

From the January 24, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.