Intelligentsia Coffee is planning its third L.A. cafe, this time coming to Pasadena, possibly as early as June. CEO Doug Zell tells The L.A. Times that the forthcoming location will be distinct from those found in Venice and Silver Lake, promising “the look and feel is very, very different in a way that hasn’t been done in the U.S. yet for a coffeehouse,” though Mass Architecture & Design, who conceptualized the Abbot-Kinney space, are behind the new plan. So why Pasadena?
Zell shares his feelings that the Pasadena market is “underserved” when it comes to coffee, something Rob “Not Eating L.A.” Eshman would likely agree with since he claims L.A.’s entire coffee scene sucks and that neighborhood cafes are drowning in a sea of Starbucks. He might not have heard of spots like Groundwork, Espresso Cielo, Ragazzi Room, or Cafe in the Heights, but Eshman knows Intelligentsia, the coffee world’s rapidly rising star who will surely draw long Northeast lines of those who have heard the hype. It’s a great cup of mud and we wouldn’t bemoan the loss of our corporate chains for these on every corner just yet, but unless you have a lot of change and a lot of time, it’s not necessarily an everyday place coming to save our neighborhoods’ “coffee culture.” It helps though.