Philz Coffee opened its first Downtown LA location exactly a year ago with huge lines and lots of excitement from avid coffee drinkers. The location at 8th/Hope surrounded by tons of residents and office workers was an instant home run becoming one of the busiest cafes in DTLA. Their down-to-earth service and no-attitude vibe definitely doesn’t hurt on top of having great tasting coffee. Well, now get ready for another Philz Coffee to open downtown, this time on the fringe of the developing Arts District.
According to commercial broker Suzanne Laff of Beitler Commercial Realty Services, the second Philz Coffee to open in Downtown LA will be located at 580 S Alameda on the northeast intersection of 6th and Alameda, which is basically the western edge of the burgeoning Arts District. Driving by (as opposed to my preference of walking by) the other day to check out the site, I was a little surprised Philz chose a location along such a super wide and car-oriented street such as Alameda.
There is currently a one-story warehouse building (built in 1968) that Philz will occupy half of for their new cafe. A local investor called Ming Zhi Investments LLC purchased the 4,500 square foot building from Urth Caffe last year with plans to upgrade and modernize the nondescript structure, which was most recently used as a Hispanic market according to Laff. The property sold for $3.1 million including an adjacent empty parcel that will be used for retail parking.
Philz Coffee will build out a 2,250 square foot cafe taking up exactly half of the building’s total square footage. The landlord will first upgrade the structure followed by Philz Coffee building out their own space. There are currently six garage bays cut into the front of the warehouse structure that will be replaced with all glass windows with approximately 14-foot high ceilings. Because the warehouse is also set back from the street, there will be plenty of room for outdoor patio seating (shown in the rendering), which Philz Coffee and another future potential restaurant tenant will likely take advantage of. The plan is to have Philz open by next year.
For me, I am definitely not a fan of how auto-oriented Alameda is (it’s super wide and pretty hostile to pedestrians) even though I understand it was, and still is, being used for industrial purposes. It’s interesting for me to see Philz Coffee open in such an area, nonetheless, given how desolate the area seems today. However, just around the corner (for a car at least) is Factory Place Kitchen and down 6th Street you’ll find all the new hip establishments that have put the Arts District on the map. Who knows, maybe with all the immediate development in the pipeline, this area will evolve into a vibrant pedestrian neighborhood a decade from now.