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OUT AND ABOUT : Coffeehouse Is Not the Usual Grind

January 13, 1994|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

A little-known java stop on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, the Graffiti Coffeehouse, offers much more than a foamy cappuccino.

For some, it's a place to relax and chat. For others, it's a place to catch nightly entertainment. Whatever the reason, the Graffiti Coffeehouse has attracted a varied clientele.

The coffeehouse, which opened in 1992, is owned and operated by the Clare Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps recovering alcoholics and drug users and their families. Proceeds go to Clare's youth services and recovery programs.

Douglas Gibbs, director of Clare's youth programs, conceived of the coffeehouse as a place that would appeal to teens and adults alike. Accordingly, Graffiti offers everything from weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to hip stage performances, live acoustic music and a songwriters showcase. Its walls are aswirl with spray-painted graffiti art, and customers can sit at booths or hang out at the coffee bar.

"The artwork and atmosphere are very urban," Susan Becker, a Santa Monica College student, said recently between sips at the bar.

The menu lists the usual assortment of coffee drinks, teas, and sodas, priced from $1.50 to $3.50. During the day, soups and sandwiches are also served for less than $5. And Graffiti offers a wide selection of cheesecakes, pastries and desserts.

Graffiti Coffeehouse is at 1002 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday. Information: (310) 314-6244.

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