We are so thrilled to share the news that Neighborhood Coffee Shop, a project we have been a part of from the beginning, is now open for business at 133 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
Last week, we were honored to have our friend Justin Chung come to Neighborhood to shoot some rolls of film. We're so excited to share some of them with you now (all photos in this post were taken by him), as well as the story of Neighborhood and our involvement with the project.
Whether you live in Los Angeles or are coming for a visit, we welcome you to stop by Neighborhood to enjoy Canyon Coffee for the first time on a full espresso, drip and pour over menu. While there, you'll also be able to enjoy juices and milks by Moon Juice, smoothies by Daily Harvest, vegan ice cream by Craig's, pastries by Friends and Family, and tea by Leaves and Flowers and MatchaBar.
The Story of Neighborhood
Matthew and Darin Friedman are brothers who have lived in and around the La Brea neighborhood of Hollywood for over 15 years. Both passionate coffee lovers, they've shared the dream of opening a coffee shop together for years. In particular, they saw a need for a local gathering place in their community. Somewhere people could enjoy an elevated, high quality coffee experience from a hometown roaster, featuring other food, beverages and products also produced locally.
Around two years ago, an opportunity arose in the form of a space on La Brea avenue—a short walk from Matthew and his family's home.
Meanwhile, Darin and his wife Geri Hirsch, founder of Because I'm Addicted, had been following the story of Canyon Coffee. They reached out to ask us about interest in opening a shop. At the time, we were focused primarily on building our business without opening a shop. However, we really liked the vision and vibe of the brothers and felt an instant connection and trust. We offered to help them out in any way we could.
Before long, we were given that opportunity when the shop location became available and it was time to design the bar. Casey lended his experience from working in the coffee industry to help Matthew and Darin make decisions on the bar flow, equipment, and use of space.
The team wanted to create a space that delivered exceptional quality coffee and food in an environment that was warm and inviting. For the design, the brothers teamed up with Disc Interiors, who (as you can see) did an incredible job of accomplishing this. The choices of color, wood, stone, and brass all contribute to a light and refreshing environment—an oasis from the busy street outside.
Other key choices to make the space conducive to community and interaction were to have one communal table, rather than multiple small two-tops, in the middle of the seating area. We've already seen this accomplish its goal in wonderful ways, with strangers striking up conversations with each other.
Creating space for those kinds of interactions is encouraged through the decision to not have public wifi in the shop. Inspired by the "screen-less" shop environments we've all noticed on our travels through Scandinavia—in particular, Sweden, with their tradition of fika—we wanted to foster an environment of human interaction, not library work mode.
After a lengthy build-out and permitting phase (roughly a year-and-a-half) in which the brothers were intimately involved on a daily basis, it became time to start recruiting the team of baristas who would bring life to the space and welcome guests. We knew that to create a space that's truly warm, inviting and welcoming, we needed to foster a work environment that matches that description and empowers our team to lean in to make the experience special for our guests.
Our goal for building the Neighborhood team was to find genial, warm people passionate about coffee and service. We've been very pleased to have found an opening cast of individuals who meet that description, and then some. Rather than dictate to our team how to perform each function, we've asked our team members to communicate ways they see opportunities and room for improvement, and in that way we have all continued to learn and grow together.
Neighborhood is now open every day, starting at 7am. Over time, we are planning to extend our hours later to make our full espresso and ice cream menu available into the evening.
We hope to have you in for a coffee and treat, soon!