Like this blog the Coffee Shop opened without much fanfare and then just grew.  There was no business plan except to revive the bones of a 50’s coffee shop in a run-down hotel, at the edge of an upscale neighborhood populated by hipsters, artists, musicians, actors, actresses, screenwriters, and lots of below-the-line craftsmen and women. With a small investment from my sister and 13 maxed out credit cards, we cleaned, repainted, and after 30 days, just opened.

When I was growing up in Baldwin Hills,  California in the fifties, the Coffee Shops were inexpensive, comforting, all-welcoming Los Angeles style “diners” that you could go to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, at any time of the day. You dressed any way you wanted, and came by yourself to sit at a welcoming counter, or in two’s, three’s four’s.  Our family spent a lot of time at Hody’s, Pepys, Ship’s, the Wich Stand, Tiny Naylor’s, Dolores’, Carolina Pines Jr., and my favorite hamburger place Biff’s.  The food was straightforward, freshly prepared, and satisfied everyone.

My change was to add an espresso machine for coffee drinks and Mexican specialties.  That’s why we called the Hollywood Hills a “Coffee Shop.”  Hangouts for coffee drinks without food were called “Coffee Houses.”  I don’t know when the nomenclature changed, but there was a lot of confusion when we first opened.  We tried “cafe”, “diner”, “restaurant”, but what we were was an updated Los Angeles Coffee Shop with good coffee and espresso drinks.  After a while, the neighborhood regulars adopted us, and we were called a lot of names.

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