Today, Santa Monica joins Chicago, Los Angeles (especially the Silver Lake neighborhood), San Francisco, Portland and Seattle as a city that offers fine, brewed-to-order coffee. The Refinery, a classy coffee bar, opened three days ago on Santa Monica Boulevard between 4th and 5th. The space has been undergoing renovations (it used to be EarthBar) for months as Santa Monica's building and planning department kept a tight leash on construction.
Owner Jimmy Chang has a background in business, but this is partly a passion project for him. "I've always wanted to get into food and beverage," he notes, while explaining his trek from the Carolinas to New York to San Francisco to Portland to taste and learn from some of the best baristas in the country.
Chang is serving a fine selection of coffee, brewed to order, from Ritual in San Francisco. The pastry case has a few tasty morsels from Breadbar. Merchandise, in the form of bags of coffee, V60 drippers and an array of pots and carafes is for sale along the Eastern wall. Eventually, Chang hopes to apply for a wine and beer license and take a walk on the savory side of things. Full of wood and light -- and the comforting smell of freshly roasted coffee beans -- The Refinery is now open daily.
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