Need a quick cup of joe?
There's a new coffee shop in town and you'll find it on the ground level of the CNN Tower. It's an ideal location for those in the area looking for something to grab and go.
Brew Coffee Bar opened its doors to customers just three weeks ago, serving brews from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The menu also includes tea and pastries.
Customers will find that among the unique features the shop offers, there's a pull-up service. Call in your order and a barista will bring your order to your car.
Co-owner Charn Bak explains to Patch his vision for the Hollywood location and what makes his business different from coffee shops in the area.
Patch: Share with us your background in the coffee shop business and how you see Brew Coffee Bar fitting in the L.A. area, especially Hollywood. There are so many around town!
Charn Bak: I grew up in Portland, OR surrounded by great coffee and had my first start in coffee back east in Boston, MA when I opened up The Thinking Cup which introduced third-wave 'specialty coffee' to the locals. I was able to establish a great relationship with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and wanted to make the same impact I did in Boston to the Los Angeles area coffee scene so I teamed up with Joy Park, who I met while we attended Cornell University Hospitality School. We shared the same vision to bring extraordinary coffees to the masses and found our niche in Class-A business plazas with our stores in the Colorado Center in Santa Monica, Sunset Tower (CNN Tower) in Hollywood, and later this fall at the U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown LA.
Although there are several coffee shops in Los Angeles, there are very few that execute with the detail and care that go into making your coffee experience exceptional. Within Hollywood, I'm happy that we are able to offer this "affordable luxury" now to local residents and working professionals who seek that better option other than the usual Starbucks and Coffee Bean.
Patch: When scouting for your second location, what were the factors that played into choosing Hollywood and that particular kiosk?
Bak: Hollywood is so diverse and active so we wanted to be part of this inviting community. Also knowing that Hollywood has yet been introduced to specialty coffee was a major factor. Being part of a landmark building such as Sunset Tower [CNN Building] in Hollywood, we saw what the kiosk could be — a modern, accessible coffee bar with the main focus on coffee and the baristas. I saw the kiosk as Hollywood's hidden coffee gem. There are several great tenants in the building and the property management team was very supportive in helping us launch our second location.
Being located near Amoeba Music, L.A. Film School and several other office buildings, we were excited to have the opportunity to share our coffees to working professionals, students, and residents in Hollywood. Before, you had to drive to Silver Lake area to get good coffee, but now locals can enjoy it just around the corner.
Patch: Stumptown Coffee Roasters is your source for beans. What do you like about their product?
Bak: We partnered with Stumptown Coffee Roasters because of their shared commitment to quality and their reputation of excellence within the coffee industry. They are the reason you see those 25-person lines at their shops across the nation. They go the extra mile in order to provide us the best beans that are roasted to order, so you are getting the freshest coffee every time you visit one of our stores. We serve direct-trade beans that are organic and sourced from the best available coffee lots from around the world. Stumptown works directly with each of these coffee farms to ensure they are producing the highest-quality beans year out. By working with Stumptown, we're able to offer the "Hairbender" espresso blend which is the foundation of what makes our lattes and cappuccinos taste so good. Stumptown also provides several single-origin varietals flavor profiles that customers can choose from that will excite a multitude of palettes.
Patch: Your website mentions Brew Coffee Bar is committed to unwavering customer service. How does your team plan to accomplish this?
Bak: Its quite simple, we hire 'Career Baristas' who really care. I have a personal philosophy that you cannot teach someone to truly care about customer service, its inbred. Each of our baristas commit to educating customers about our coffee and take the time to do so with each of them. We are not your pretentious specialty coffee shop. I want all of our customers to feel comfortable and ask questions so that our baristas can make the beverage to your liking. It's never easy finding these amazing people who actually work hard, but the livelihood of our team matters to me. They are the real reason why we've been growing. I also tell them that we don't necessarily have to be the biggest coffee shop in order to attract customers. We make an impact by focusing on quality and care, and that's what our customers appreciate.
Patch: Everybody has a favorite coffee shop and there always perks for regulars. What are some of the specials you want new customers to know about?
Bak: We have a new ongoing promotion on our Facebook. Snap a photo of your latte art, include the barista's name, and post on Brew Coffee Bar's Facebook wall. Every week we announce the winner with the most "Likes" and award them with free 12-ounce bag of Stumptown Coffee or $10 Brew gift card. We also have a Brew Five Stars Loyalty Card, where you get one point for each drink, when you reach 10 points, we give the customer a free drink or pastry. For eco-friendly customers, we give 10 percent off each time when you purchase a Brew mug/tumbler/thermal.
Patch: Can you explain how the pull-up coffee service works? Where would you recommend customers park?
Bak: Yes, we are the coffee shop in Hollywood to offer Pull-Up coffee. There are several commuters that drive down Sunset Boulevard on their way to work every morning so we wanted to combine old-fashioned service along with convenience. Customers call (209) 210- BREW to place an order. When they pull up on the side of the street, just stay in your car, we bring the coffee to you. It's easy and most of all convenient. We recommend customers to park on Cole Street, to avoid the traffic on Sunset Boulevard.
Patch: Let's talk about the menu. What are some of the items you'd recommend for people who want to indulge in something sweet? And as far as healthy options?
Bak: To indulge, I recommend our mochas or French hot chocolate made with Valrhona. As for our treats, I recommend the bluberry crumb cake, gluten-free brownie and ginger molasses vanilla creme sandwich cookie as great options. Several of our customers drink soy milk and almond milk, we also offer the recently popular hemp milk too.
Patch: For local organizations putting together events, what should they know about the catering services you offer to the community?
Bak: We have a specialty coffee truck that can service any event, for any party size, and location within Southern California. If you go on our website, www.brewcoffeebar.com, you can look at our Events Menu (bottom right corner), which has detailed package options, pricing, and photos of our mobile cafe.
Brew Coffee Bar, at 6430 Sunset Blvd., is open weekdays 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
[Updated 11:45 a.m., Aug. 10] Editor's Note: Brew Coffee Bar has closed for the day and will re-open Monday. Bak said the building is doing some plumbing repair work, which has affected their drain lines. It's a situation out of their control, but he apologizes to anyone who may have stopped by.