The coffee company that was founded on the beans-by-bike delivery idea opened its first brick-and-mortar coffee shop nearly three years ago—and coming soon, it will open its second location at the northeast corner of Eighth Street and Pine Avenue in DTLB.
Rose Park Roasters began caffeinating the world in 2010, just as L.A. was starting to get its own specialty coffee scene, thanks to a lead largely taken by Intelligentsia when it opened in Silver Lake in 2007 (and here in Long Beach, a group of some-gone-some-still-here warriors like True Beans [gone] and Lord Windsor [still here] and Makai [gone] and…).
Andrew Phillips, then a roaster for coffee boss Martin Dietrich at his Costa Mesa–based Kean Coffee, decided to pair up with design and business friend Nathan Tourtellotte to offer something that, at the time, didn’t exist outside the now-defunct True Beans Roasters in Long Beach: a local roaster dedicated to specialty beans.
Once it moved into the former Roasted Nōtz space in Bluff Heights, Rose Park Roaster had officially established itself as a caffeinated powerhouse within Long Beach’s growing coffee culture, joining Lord Windsor and soon thereafter Recreational Coffee as the representatives of the local coffeehouse/roasting scene.
While the store will be offering everything they have with the current menu at their flagship brick-and-mortar, Tourtellotte wants to separate the Downtown location by way of one thing: food. And his hopes are high. He drops hopes of emulating everything from staples like Jordan Kahn’s (more accessible-but-way-less-space-ship-y than Vespertine) Destroyer in Culver City and famed Virgil Village cafe Squirl to Australia’s Paramount Coffee Project and Echo Park’s Triniti, each a part of a growing avant-garde espresso scene.
“The small fancy toast menu we offer [at the flagship shop] will be expanded into a full-fledged—if still highly curated—brunch and lunch menu, loosely centered on salads and sandwiches,” Tourtellotte said. “Think of it as vaguely French bistro with Italian and Spanish touches… And then strongly California Cuisine with our emphasis on fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table vegetables.”
The move couldn’t be timed better for North Pine, as so dubbed by its residents and business owners who feel Pine is largely disconnected from Downtown north of Fourth Street. In the past three years alone, North Pine has seen an influx of investment following the opening of Molina Healthcare in the old Press-Telegram/Meeker-Baker buildings. The Pie Bar, Romeo Chocolates, and Saints & Sinners Bakeshop have created what I dubbed Decadent Row while Toxic Toast Records, Long Beach Vintage Etc., and Ace of Hearts Tattoo bring Long Beach’s long love of music, fashion and body art to the area.
“I think people, especially in the Downtown area, are going to be really surprised at the caliber of what we put out there,” Tourtellotte said. “It will take us a while after opening to really hit our stride, I think… But this is entirely new ground for us. We’re working as hard on the food side of this location as we always have on our side with sourcing and roasting coffees. And as always, whether with the coffee or with the food, we’re wanting to give customers moments of pure culinary revelation.”
The new coffee shop will be placed within the western ground floor area of the historic Long Beach Professional Building. Built in 1929, the eight-story structure was the first large office building in the city and largely influenced the Public Works/Works Progress Administration’s “moderne” style that drew from Art Deco and Beaux-Arts influences (hence the structure’s predominant Art Deco style).
And it plays with these elements, using the buildings massive windows, keeping a large portion of its interior, playing natural, neutral colors that harken to the pinks and earth tones that were an original part of the building’s aesthetic palette, and plenty of plants and greenery.
In other words, it’s the perfect fit. All that North Pine needs now is a good bar and restaurant—and, of course, some affordable housing.
“Food is so powerful, at least it has been and is in our own personal lives,” Tourtelotte said. “We want to wow people the same way we’ve been wow-ed by the places we respect and frequent.”
Rose Park Roasters DTLB will be located at 117 E. Eighth St.
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