We’ve been watching the cute little vintage service station at 4450 W. Beverly Blvd. (SW corner of Beverly and Hobart) for many years, and were thrilled to report, back in 2017, that it was in the planning stages to become a cute new coffee stand, a la the old Gilmore gas station Starbucks a mile or so east on Highland Ave. But when both the original summer and then rescheduled fall opening dates came and went last year with no new service, we got a little worried. This week, however, we were thrilled to learn that Full Service Coffee finally opened last Saturday, and is now up and running.
We caught up with owners Jeff Solorio and John Juniper (with his dog Ursa) at the stand this morning, and learned that they are longtime Hancock Park residents, as well as the co-founders of the international eyewear firm Dita. For 20 years, Solario told the Buzz, he and Juniper drove by the historic little service station on Beverly as they commuted to and from Dita’s offices in downtown LA, and they lamented the old gas station’s increasing decay. So when they finally learned it was for rent, they decided to create a new sideline business.
Juniper said, however, that what they expected to be a quick little project, taking no more than six months to bring to fruition, took nearly two years – partially because the permitting process for any new business, especially one involving food, is very slow and complex…but also because there was so much work that needed to be done on the crumbling 1940s building. Not only did they have to remove the old gas tanks, he said, but they also had to replace all the plumbing and other major systems, and it all just took longer and “was more work than we ever expected.”
But the long wait is now over, and Solorio says the first week’s business has been good – even surprising in some ways. He said that he and Juniper expected their customers would be mostly commuters, who would pull off Beverly into the small drive in front of the stand, order a quick drink and drive off again. But they’ve already “realized there’s a huge community aspect” to the business, and that the local neighbors are just as, or even more, eager to patronize the friendly, pedestrian-friendly shop. In fact, said Juniper happily, the neighbors have “come out of the woodwork” to support them.
Solorio agreed, saying that in addition to automotive traffic, they’re seeing “lots of elderly ladies” from the nearby bus stop…as well as lots of “young hip kids,” stopping by on foot to grab a coffee. “And that’s what we want to see,” he said.
For now, Full Service Coffee is offering a small, simple menu, featuring high-quality, ethically-sourced coffees from “third wave” roasters, along with tea and a few pastries. Hours are currently 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Solorio said, however, that they do plan to expand the small staff as they build their team and business ramps up, and the hours will expand, too, as that process plays out.
Juniper said their goal, like the overall business concept, is simple: to create a “fast, friendly, good coffee shop” that’s “for everybody.” And Solorio echoed that sentiment, saying they just want to provide “top quality coffee in a way that’s approachable.” And you’ll definitely find that the service comes with a smile, right down to the cardboard insulator on your coffee cup.