Sunset Junction Coffee Shop opened Wednesday morning in the Silver Lake space that had been a boarded-up source of confusion for locals for some time.
The space was once Eat Well, then K2, and then restaurant-less for some time while it served as an occasional filming location and staging area for caterers - a serious disappointment to the brunch zombies of Sunset Junction.
Jenna Turner of Susina Bakery and Chango Coffee, along with her business partners, has turned the space into Sunset Junction Coffee Shop as of 7am this morning. To be clear, she is not in competition with neighbors Intelligentsia and Casbah Café: Turner, who is originally from New Jersey, uses the term "coffee shop" purely in the East Coast sense, something we Left Coasters would call a "diner" or just "breakfast place."
Traditionally, the main difference between diners and coffee shops is that the former is a freestanding establishment, while the latter occupies part of a larger building; the food is similar in both. Turner plans to offer breakfast during all opening hours (currently daily 7am to 3pm, with the hope of eventually going 24 hours a day) and will not be pursuing a liquor license. The menu is full of diner classics, with a lot of egg dishes and hearty salads and sandwiches. The products used are, as can be expected in Silver Lake, of a higher quality than found in the average greasy spoon. Pastries come from Susina, natch, and the bagels are from Brooklyn Bagel Bakery on the outskirts of Echo Park.
Turner didn't do a whole lot to change the design of the restaurant, deciding instead to let the "'60s American diner" style already in place guide her style decisions. Beyond a deep cleaning, she has added new tables, chairs and fixtures, and will soon have art on the walls, as well as new signage outside.
Turner is used to working quickly: a few months ago she gutted and remodeled Echo Park's Chango Coffee inside of a week. The experience gave her an education in community involvement - as Turner describes it, no one ever questioned her changes at Susina, but in this part of town even painting a mural requires presentations to the neighborhood council. It caught Turner off-guard, but she's happy to now be part of a more involved community.
And the community is growing ever stronger: Turner is a friend and fan of Charlie Conrad and Dean Malouf, the Village Idiot owners who are bringing their yet-unnamed gastropub concept to the neighborhood, directly across from Sunset Junction Coffee Shop. "These folks were a big part of why I pursued this location so much. They're wonderful business owners and humans, and I'm excited we'll all be here."
Sunset Junction Coffee Shop
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3916 Sunset Blvd., 323-661-1600
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