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May 24, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
The tinted windows at Cafe Miss Cutie in Garden Grove are a giveaway that this isn't your ordinary coffeehouse. At about 20 tables, men play cards and smoke, tossing cigarette butts onto the wood floor seconds before lighting up again. High-pitched pop music pulsates as waitresses dressed in sexy lingerie — and sometimes less — deliver the brew the customers crave: Vietnamese coffee, strong and sweet, in a small glass topped with whipped cream. The cafe is one of about 20 in this Orange County city, which includes part of Little Saigon, one of the largest Vietnamese American enclaves in the U.S. It also is among those raided in March by more than 150 federal and local law enforcement officials, exposing an underbelly of what police say includes nudity, gambling and prostitution.
December 28, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Sure, Oh Yoo-jin wanted a cup of coffee, but what the 24-year-old university student really wanted to do was commune with the residents of her tiny neighborhood cafe ? the cats. On a recent afternoon, Oh and her boyfriend shared the brightly lighted cafe with a dozen felines. There were cats lounging on the windowsills, curiously nosing customers' coffee cups or taking leisurely strolls past the register. That's the point of Seoul's newest cat cafe: Why just caffeinate when you can indulge with a purring tabby or Russian gray on your lap?
November 21, 2010 | By Nate Jackson, Los Angeles Times
The gig: David Cooley is president of the Abbey Food and Bar in West Hollywood. Cooley, 51, the restaurant's founder, gained the title in May 2006 when SBE Entertainment Group bought the business and let him continue running it. The Abbey was voted "Best Gay Bar in the World" in 2009 by MTV Network's Logo channel. Cooley concedes that he still feels like the sole owner, managing day-to-day operations and charity events at the club. He's also on the road a lot. His longtime plan to turn the Abbey into a restaurant-nightclub franchise takes him cross-country, scouting real estate in Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix and Atlanta, although no deals have been signed yet. Meager beginnings: While attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ?
August 8, 2010 | Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Housed in an old San Francisco warehouse, Four Barrel Coffee — with its vintage record player, 53-year-old coffee roasting machine, tables hewn from recycled wood and wall of mounted boar heads — calls one of the world's most wired cities home. But don't expect to get an Internet connection there. Coffee connoisseurs hooked on this roaster's beans won't find a working signal — or even a power outlet. The uninitiated often try to plug into a fake one that owner Jeremy Tooker spray painted on the wall as a gag. "There are lots of marks on the drywall," Tooker said, laughing.
December 13, 2009 | By Esmeralda Bermudez
Forget bake sales. To reduce the impact of education budget cuts, an El Sereno charter school hopes to bolster its coffers with a jolt of caffeine, opening its own neighborhood coffeehouse Saturday. Semillas Community Schools will use profits from Xocolatl Cacao, Tea and Coffee House -- which has a full menu of drinks, sandwiches and pastries -- to shield its elementary and high school from future layoffs and program cuts. "I'd rather focus on developing a new language curriculum than a new chocolate drink," said Marcos Aguilar, Semillas' executive director.
November 16, 2009 | Kim Murphy
For an Army weary from war, they offer tea and sympathy -- along with double tall lattes, caramel macchiatos and leads on civilian jobs. At Coffee Strong, outside the gates of the sprawling Ft. Lewis Army base, the brew is served up by veterans and comes with a shot of solidarity. "There's no way you can spend five years of your life being deployed in Iraq and be a normal human being when you come back to the United States. You're pretty far gone by that time," Seth Manzel, who spent two years in Iraq with the Army's 1st Stryker Brigade, said as he poured free drinks Wednesday in honor of Veterans Day. "We wanted to get involved in something that would help."
November 13, 2009 | Cara Mia DiMassa
When the Larchmont Bungalow opened a couple of weeks ago, the "Artisan Cafe, Bakery and Brew" coffeehouse seemed a perfect fit for the tony neighborhood, with its exposed wooden beams, reconditioned hardwood floors and roasting coffee wafting through the airy space. But there was just one problem -- and it had everything to do with the chairs and tables where patrons sat, drank coffee and noshed on offerings such as red velvet pancakes and jerk chicken sliders. Those chairs and tables, contended a group of residents, threatened the very fabric of Larchmont Village because they transformed what had been permitted as a takeout restaurant into something vastly different.
August 2, 2009 | Akiva Gottlieb, Gottlieb writes about books and film for the Nation.
Full disclosure: I am thanked in the acknowledgments section of "Ground Up." Yes, I was one of the anonymous "very, very few patrons" of Cafe Trotsky, the kaffeehaus that Michael Idov and his wife ran on Manhattan's Lower East Side for a six-month stint in 2005. Maybe he shouldn't be so gracious. I went only once.
February 13, 2009 | Ruben Vives
There were 30 witnesses when two masked gunmen burst into a San Gabriel coffeehouse and opened fire, killing one person and injuring six others. But a week later, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives said they are still trying to sort out the mystery of what happened -- and why. They said their investigation has been slowed in part because they have not found family members of the man killed.
August 11, 2008 | Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune
From the moment customers enter the front door, A Conservative Cafe is serving up caffeinated doctrine. Ann Coulter books sit stacked by the fireplace and a picture of President Reagan hangs on the wall. Fox News plays on all the televisions and stock market quotes scroll along an electronic ticker above the cash register. Behind the counter, owner Dave Beckham smiled proudly in a T-shirt with the face of Uncle Sam on it that read "Zip It Hippie." The T-shirt is for sale at the cafe.
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