Pasadena's Old Town district had an eventful beginning of this month, with not one but three openings: an ice cream shop, a café and a new certified farmers market.
There's the second brick-and-mortar shop for Coolhaus, which started as an ice cream truck. The shop opened its doors on Friday, August 2, falling on the same day as National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, which was a happy coincidence says co-founder and CEO Natasha Case. Coolhaus set up an ice cream counter at one corner of a cavernous space that'll soon welcome four to five other local purveyors, turning into a mini hub of food and drink right next to Intelligentsia. According to Case, they're in the midst of finalizing the list and will likely complete arrangements next month.
Similar to the Culver City location, Coolhaus in Pasadena has a rotating menu of ice cream and cookies — any of which can be turned into an ice cream sandwich or a cookie shake. In addition to ice cream flavors such as Tahitian vanilla bean, baked apple and molten lava cake, visitors can find a new rose-accented ice cream created in honor of Pasadena (hint: Rose Bowl).
Just down the block, Copa Vida grand-opened the day before the ice cream shop on Thursday, August 1. The new cafe on Raymond took over the space that once housed redwhite+bluezz, a jazz lounge that moved to Pasadena Playhouse in February.
The focus at the two-room cafe, founded by Steve Chang, Frank La and Sam Hong, is on espresso and coffee from roasters such as San Francisco-based Ritual Coffee. There's also a menu of teas along with sandwiches and salads by chef Erick Lee (smoked turkey melt with chipotle aioli and a farro salad dressed with ginger soy sauce) as well as a variety of pastries from North Hollywood-based Cake Monkey. On a recent visit, the cafe was more than half-way occupied with locals huddled over either books or laptops.
Both Coolhaus and Copa Vida are the latest in a string of additions, including Dog Haus, Intelligentsia, Blind Donkey, Ración and Umami Burger, to have settled in Old Town over the past few years.
“We chose Pasadena because it's one of the few pedestrian-friendly areas in town. Also, there's a growing mix of retail from national brands to much more local names, which is hard to find elsewhere,” says Case.
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