Back in August, Jones Coffee Roasters moved -- lock, stock, espresso machines and Probat roaster -- a few blocks down Raymond Avenue in Pasadena. And, for a time, while the Jones family outfitted their new digs, the baristas pulled shots near the back side street, which Chuck Jones labeled Ghetto Alley, a name that apparently stuck with the locals. "If there's anything that secures customer loyalty, it's having them run through a gauntlet," said Jones.
But now the alley operation has shut down, and people are able to pull up out front, where they'll find considerably more parking than the old location, and a huge warehouse of a place, now outfitted with art and neighbors (and art featuring the neighbors), bags of green coffee beans, lots of tables and chairs, a huge neon sign -- sourced from a junkyard in Fillmore, it was once used on the set of Californication -- and a chandelier made from coffee gear. Like the old coffeehouse, it's a very comfy place, well suited to hanging out, consuming outrageous amounts of caffeine and pastries from nearby Euro Pane. The Probat, now installed in the middle of the space like a Franklin stove in a kitchen, now roasts most of Jones' coffee, much of which was roasted at LAMILL during the transition.
The coffeehouse also does fun things like host cuppings, the intricate sip-and-spit tasting events that coffee geeks hold, which Jones says he'll schedule pretty much any time people are interested. Jones, who just returned from a trip to Guatemala (Dia de los Muertos, coffee tours) to the family farm, also says that they're also having a Home Barista Workshop next Tuesday, November 16th, to which you can bring your home espresso maker and learn how to fine-tune your method.
And this Friday, November 12th, they'll have an Open Mic night with the Nom Nom Truck parked in their big parking lot. Jones says that he's also working on a Supper Club project. And if you come on certain nights, you can wander into the back room, where certain people have been known to hold MoveOn.org meetings. Bánh mì. Ristretto. Democracy. Sounds almost like an Elvis Costello song.