Antigua Coffee House opened its doors in Cypress Park 18 days ago. It was a long transition process for owner Yancey Quinones, whose previous Antigua coffee shop on Huntington Drive in El Sereno closed a year ago July. And it's not the only current project for Quinones, whose family has been growing coffee in Guatemala for more than 150 years. He's working with the Semillas Community Schools–he's on the board of development–to open a second coffee shop just down the street from his old digs on Huntington Drive. Semillas Antigua Coffee House, which will be owned and operated by the school with Quinones acting as the project director, will have a soft opening October 1st.
The coffee used at both shops is Quinones' longtime project. Quinones roasts beans he brings back from his family's farm in Guatemala (his mother's family has been growing coffee on 4,000 acres for generations) on a Primo roaster in Boyle Heights, where he now lives. Antigua serves sandwiches and muffins, and will soon be getting bread and pastries from nearby La Morenita bakery, whose owner was Quinones' guitar teacher when he was a kid. Quinones grew up in Cypress Park and attended the middle school across the street from Antigua. The shop is open late (“we close down around midnight”) and offers free wireless. “It's a coffee house,” said Quinones this morning while pulling shots of espresso from the gleaming La Marzocca machine at his cozy, art-filled shop. “But it's also a community center.”
Antigua Coffee House: 3400 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles; (323) 539-2233.
Semillas Antigua Coffee House: 4987 Huntington Drive, Los Angeles. (No phone number yet.)