• Russia's rebranded Starbucks is a "totally different" brand, one of its owners told The WSJ.
  • Stars Coffee sells frappuccinos, writes names on cups, and has a logo similar to Starbucks'.
  • Another owner told the BBC the only similarity between the logos was their circular shape.

An owner of Russia's rebranded Starbucks has said it's "totally different" from the American brand — despite eerie similarities between their logos and menus.

Starbucks closed its 130 Russian stores in March and announced in May it was pulling out of the country altogether, following other major Western companies that exited in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Starbucks sold its stores to Russian businessman Anton Pinskiy, rapper Timur Yunusov, and Sindika Company. The stores were rebranded under the Stars Coffee name and the first reopened in Moscow on Thursday.

"Starbucks left along with its formula, technologies, and the raw material entirely," Yunusov told The Wall Street Journal, per a translation by the outlet. "And in its place came a totally different brand that looks like this."

Pinksy made similar comments to the BBC, suggesting there were no similarities between the brands' logos apart from their circular shape.

The logos of Stars Coffee and Starbucks. Foto: Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; Horacio Villalobo/Corbis via Getty Images

The Starbucks logo features a mermaid in a star-embellished crown, whereas the Stars Coffee logo has a woman donning a traditional Russian headdress with a star.

The Stars Coffee logo appears to be even closer to an older Starbucks logo, introduced in 1992, which encased the mermaid within a circle, with text reading "Starbucks Coffee" studded with stars.

Starbucks logos over the years. Foto: Starbucks website

Pinksy told Russian media outlet Sostav earlier this month that he planned to make the name of the new coffee company as close to the original as possible, and was considering both Starbox and Stars.

He said the menu would continue to include sandwiches, salads, pastries, and desserts, but with different recipes. A video published by The Journal appears to show the chain selling frappuccinos, iced coffee, and croissants.

The new chain would continue with Starbucks' tradition of writing customers' names on their coffee cups, Pinksy told Sostav. Photos released of the reopened cafes show handwritten text on both paper and plastic takeout cups.

A worker at a Stars Coffee in Moscow makes drinks for customers. A cup features handwritten text.
Photos show handwritten text on cups in a Stars Coffee store.Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Stars Coffee told The Journal it took just a month to develop the new brand. Pinksy told the BBC that Stars Coffee would gradually reopen the 130 former Starbucks cafes.

The Journal reported big demand for Stars Coffee when it reopened.

The rebranded Russian McDonald's, Vkusno & tochka, also appeared to enjoy success when it reopened, with its CEO saying it sold 120,000 burgers on its opening day.

Read the original article on Business Insider