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LA’s Safest Diner Is a Hidden Tribute to the Boys in Blue

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Inside the secret police academy coffee shop you didn’t know you were missing

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Inside the LA Police Revolver & Athletic Club Cafe
Farley Elliott

The safest restaurant in all of Los Angeles has got to be the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club Cafe. Tucked up into the Elysian Park hills near Dodger Stadium — and on the grounds of the LA Police Academy — the throwback coffee shop is part diner, part coffee takeaway, part ode to the hardworking police department of Los Angeles. And, as you might expect, just about everybody inside is packin’ heat.

The Athletic Club Cafe officially reopened today, looking shined up and reupholstered since its shutter in 2014. Aramark is in charge of the kitchen (though there is a Peet’s Coffee takeaway kiosk option right inside the front door), but mostly you should expect the same kind of heavy-cupped coffee shop experience you’ve come to know and love.

Cooler still: the place is lined with old police photographs and memorabilia, from ancient handcuffs to images of cadets from days gone by. The primary dining room is still touched off with a few awesome old rock walls too, part of the leftover charm from the long-running place. Otherwise expect some matte black booths and three U-shaped counters taking up the majority of the room, with an overflow dining area to one side as needed.

In terms of menu, expect the usual breakfast all day. You can get eggs and bacon, a breakfast sandwich, pancakes, and a DIY breakfast burrito portion. The lunch arrangement kicks off at 10 a.m. daily (breakfast is all day), offering sandwiches, salads, and a patty melt. As always, black coffee is in high demand.

As ever before, the Cafe remains packed with cops, recruits, detectives, you name it. In fact, it’s rare that someone from outside the academy would step foot inside the compound, though it is open to the public daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed weekends).

To access the coffee shop, head past the security station, up the exterior stairs, and straight on back to find the rocky facade of the diner on your right-hand side. Then all you have to do is settle in and enjoy, knowing full well there’s not likely to be any funny business here.

Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club Cafe
1880 Academy Drive
Los Angeles, CA

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