Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Highland Ave Starbucks Now Serving


The corner of Highland and Willoughby is seeing a new line of traffic these days – cars encircling the newly renovated historic 1935 gas station waiting for their double tall caps. A drive-through and walk-up Starbucks opened yesterday in the art deco property that was originally the Gilmore Gas Station and early business has been brisk. Angelenos love their cars and their coffee.

starbucksThe place looks great with a crisp white paint job and green trim on the metal and class structure that features two cantilevered ‘wings’ where automobiles were once fueled and serviced, and now are coffee re-fueled. The drive-up ordering kiosk was manned by a friendly young employee who identified himself as my “barista” today and the coffee and breakfast sandwich were served up quickly without much wait given there were six cars in line when I arrived.

There is parking for 4 cars in the side lot ( accessed from the back alley) if you want to order coffee at the window and linger at tables on the umbrella-topped patio. Seating maxes out at 24 spots and there’s the standard Starbucks free wi-fi pulsing through the city air. Still, with traffic whizzing by on Highland, it’s not a bad spot to down a bit of brew and catch up on your email.

Starbucks states pride in their newest ‘restoration’ property (they have other historic stores underway in Seattle and New Orleans) and released a statement about the property’s history as a Gilmore Oil, Texaco and Mobil station over the years. They also included some of its movie history:

In its heyday, it was a colorful backdrop for movies and commercials, including a scene between Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours and a fuel stop with Steve Martin in L.A. Story. It was registered as a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument in 1992.

There is a photo of the former gas station in its prime hung on the side of the building, but it would’ve been nice to see a few more historic artifacts incorporated into the property re-design, such as an old fuel pump or mounted mechanics’ tools from the past. Fortunately, there’s not a lot of signage to distract from the building itself.

Still, it’s a vast improvement from the deteriorated abandoned corner it has been for the past 25 years – and nice to see people back to ‘fill ‘er up’.

Larchmont Buzz: Fill ‘Er Up – a Starbucks on Highland?

Gilmore Gasoline

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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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