There’s work underway on the northeast corner of La Brea and 2nd which is expected to add to the colorful and vibrant slew of businesses in the LaBrea corridor. Looking for a debut on May 1st: Graffiti. The coffeehouse and music venue is expected to draw even more trendsetters to La Brea which is already teeming with hip clothing stores and furniture shops just north of the more mundane supermarkets and auto lube shops.
The Buzz ran into co-owner Brad Benson outside the soon-to-be painted building that has been empty since late 2008 when Sonora Cafe closed. He and business partner Guillermo Rolando will be opening Graffiti to purvey Intelligentsia Coffee to the greater Wilshire/Hancock Park crowd. Intelligentsia already owns their own stores in Pasadena, Silverlake and Venice. Benson got started in the coffee business in 1989 with the Bourgeois Pig on Franklin Bl. which he sold in 2000 to the current owners.
Benson expects the newly refurbished two-level, loft-like coffeehouse will open May 1st with hours 7am – 10pm daily, and expanding to 2 am sometime in the future. They’ll re-open the street-side patio on LaBrea, and offer a quiet work room with fireplace and wi-fi upstairs, while the main room downstairs will be alive with live music, artwork and chatter. Light food and hot coffee are on the menu.
Benson himself is a fine artist by trade who works in resins and paint (think surfboards) so this project is providing a wonderful blank canvas for him to help envision. And not to worry – although the coffeehouse will be named Graffiti – the plan is to paint the exterior a clean white and black. This leaves the eye-catching wall art of Shephard Fairey, just across the street, still grabbing all the visual attention.