I was driving eastward down Venice Boulevard a couple of weeks ago when I saw the most awesome neon sign ever, and it wasn’t even lit up! It was simply “COFFEE” in big block letters encased in a downward arrow. I tried to figure out what it was pointing at but there was only a big window covered from the inside with brown paper. Hmm, not open yet, I guess, but how exciting! It’s about time they opened a cool coffee shop in my neighborhood. And then I read Daily Candy, which spilled the whole story. Apparently, this coffee shop will contribute to Mar Vista’s slow movement toward a sense of community, a sense of hip community?
From Daily Candy:
This is where the neighborhood comes together over a cup of black gold (South American organic blends reign supreme) and a broad selection of teas. You’ll find strong brew, a smiley staff, free Wi-Fi, and comfy seating. Fresh pastries from local bakeries are delivered every morning, and the walls are covered in artwork from Westside talents.
I’ve lived in this neighborhood for almost 10 years so these changes are very exciting. For years I had to actually get in my car and drive to get a decent cup of coffee. I know! I didn’t want no stinkin’ strip mall coffee. But not just that, I had accepted that Mar Vista–my neighborhood and the armpit of Culver City, Venice and MDR–doesn’t really have an identity of its own. Not even competing to be as hip as its neighboring locales. We have the Outdoor Grill and that was good enough for me.
So I was genuinely puzzled when local-bar-makes-good-for-local-bands Good Hurt popped up and aghast when the Venice clothes store Anonymous opened another shop up down the street from me. And now, Venice Grind is joining in with its very dark Black Gold coffee. Mmmm. What’s next? An Urban Outfitters? Kidding.
But I stopped in to check out the new addition to Mar Vista and it’s so cute! There were already some hipsters taking up residence at the tables with their laptops. In a rush, I just tried the Black Gold drip. Very yummy indeed. Can’t wait to go through the rest of the caffeinated repertoire.
PS: Next door is this really neat-o soap store with a beautiful scent wafting out through its door. Looking in through the window it actually looks like a busy bakery except instead of trays of baked goods, there were trays of fragrant soap cakes!
12224 Venice Boulevard
Mar Vista, California
Cross Street: Grand View Boulevard