In L.A.'s community of coffee enthusiasts, there is some whispering about Tyler Wells. He was one of the founders of Handsome Coffee Roasters, the downtown coffee spot that was purchased by Blue Bottle and phased out of existence, to the woe of many. (Well, many of the crowd who care about such things.)
Wells had already left Handsome when this all went down, and there was talk of a forthcoming coffee shop of his own (with help from financial partners) in the Arts District. But that was three years ago.
There were undoubtedly twists and turns, but on Friday Wells will officially open his new project: Nice Coffee, an open-air coffee bar in City National Plaza.
The coffee will be from 49th Parallel, the laminated pastries from Sugarbloom. There will be house-made doughnuts, as well as sandwiches and small breakfast items. The coffee and tea menu will remain fairly small, with an additional seasonal drinks menu.
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Nice also operates as a physical iteration of Wells' hospitality consulting company. So the architecture of the place, with its rollup windows and wood trim around steel, is impressive. But even more notable is the emphasis on service. Old-fashioned, patient, non-snobby service that's essentially the opposite of what is expected of trendy independent (even independent-ish) coffee houses these days.
Nice opens on Friday, April 14. The end of the press release reads, in bold, "All baristas will be nice at all times and ready to serve."
It's shocking, but it just might work.
515 S. Flower St., downtown. nicecoffee.com.