Looks like there’s finally life at the down-and-out former Gelato Bar on Hillhurst in Los Feliz, as newcomer Maru Coffee has brought in a minimalist aesthetic and Stereoscope Coffee beans from Buena Park.
The flip-flopping dessert and coffee spot just half a block from Jeni’s Ice Cream fell off the radar a while back, even as more caffeine and sweet treat shops planted themselves nearby. Still, anyone walking by has noticed a fair bit of work being done inside the tiny space of late, though there’s never been any signage to show off what’s to come.
Instead, Maru Coffee — no relation, apparently, to Maru the restaurant in Santa Monica — decided to quietly open for the community on Saturday, giving away free drinks as a way of endearing themselves to the locals. You’d have to walk all the way inside and grab a cup to notice the name Maru, as the place is so slightly branded that they still don’t have a sign (one is coming though). Otherwise, it’s all white walls and light woods that make for bare seating, sort of a slightly more westerly Eightfold Coffee from Echo Park.
Maru Coffee plans to keep truncated hours all week long as they look to build their presence slowly in Los Feliz. They’ll also be giving away more coffee, so if you drop by and get lucky there could be a free latte in your future. Otherwise, should you find the doors locked, you can always make your way up to the new Twenty40 not far away.
1936 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Feliz, CA