Sources say that San Francisco's Four Barrel Coffee checked out Downtown's CoffeeBar on Spring Street, thinking it might make a great second retail coffee shop. However, Four Barrel passed on the location despite the heavy foot traffic. It seems likely that the coffee company will want to find a space where they can serve drinks, but roast as well, which is the model they have in SF's Mission District.
Although Four Barrel decided to forgo the Downtown spot, it signal's a fourth major company's move to LA, after Chicago's Intelligentsia, Portland's Stumptown, and more recently, Santa Cruz's Verve. And not to forget, Seattle's Caffe Vita is a month or two from opening in Silver Lake. According to a coffee industry insider, outside companies still think that the LA coffee market is still largely untapped compared to other major cities.
LA has a few homegrown roasting companies such as Handsome Coffee, Lamill, Cafecito Organico, and Groundworks, but it looks like outside operations are the ones seeing the most opportunity in terms of wholesale and retail business. [EaterWire]