Musician Theo Martins has opened Cereal and Such, a tiny cereal bar in a nine by seven foot revamped shed in the back patio area of a streetwear store called Virgil Normal. The nook debuted on May 5 in Virgil Village, down the street from breakfast mecca SQIRL.
Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, Martins, a first generation Nigerian, moved to Los Angeles five years ago to be closer to the art world. While he dabbles in many creative pursuits, he says the common thread is good taste at an accessible price (just $4 a bowl). Cereal and Such is his latest project.
While choosing a streetwear shop to house a cereal bar sounds totally off the wall, it made sense for Theo and Charlie Staunton, who co-owns Virgil Normal alongside stylist Shirley Kurata.
Staunton explains: “Theo was here for our opening night [two years ago] and he stood out…we like having personal relationships with the people we promote and sell. It makes it more of a community, and community is a big part of what we’re doing here. We like Theo. He’s our friend. Why not have fun and have an adventure with him?”
Virgil Normal, located in the old Choke moped shop at the intersection of Virgil and Normal Avenues, houses not only Cereal and Such, but also an eclectic mix of streetwear and home goods made by creatives they call friends, regularly hosting pop up shops.
Theo Martins has previously used the back patio space for his clothing pop ups, and artists have used the shed to assist in other creative endeavors. This past fall, a musician named Alexander Spit turned the shed into a studio and produced, wrote, and recorded a ten track EP called Alive At Virgil Normal, which he created in only ten consecutive hours. Theo was featured on the project and knew that come spring, the space would transform into his simple yet eclectic cereal bar.
“Cereal and Such is very much an homage to Japan. We want to focus on one thing and do it extremely well,” explained Theo when asked about the bar’s simple menu.
The cereal selection currently includes: Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Cap’n Crunch Berries, but the options will always be changing. Milk selections include 2% standard cows milk and non-dairy options including almond and coconut. They’re also testing macadamia nut and flaxseed milks. The food menu will expand come summer, and rumor has it they may add ice cream.
The “Such” portion of the menu is comprised of coffee, tea, and non-food items like T-shirts and tote bags designed by Theo, and mugs and bowls created in collaboration with Kenesha Sneed of Tactile Matter, a Los Angeles based stoneware ceramics company.
Cereal and Such also has a monthly podcast comprised of creatives talking about culture, music, and their passions over a bowl of cereal…and such. The first episode featured Martins, writer Micah Peters, music executive Modi Oyewole, and designer Anwar Carrots and was mixed by DJ Free.
Late in the afternoon on a Saturday, just before Cereal and Such closed for the evening, a group of friends showed up and introduced themselves to Theo, who warmly welcomed them. “We came because we heard the Cereal and Such podcast,” explained one of them. “Yeah, I don’t even like cereal, but I had to come and check it out for the culture” declared a stylish woman, right before she helped herself to another spoonful of her crunch berries doused in almond milk.
Guests of the bar are encouraged to eat cereal, sip from their warm drinks, and enjoy the laid back atmosphere at Virgil Normal. Bring a book, choose from one of their board games to play with other cereal aficionados, sit alone and stare at the intricate murals outside, or bring your laptop and set up shop. They’ll have WiFi starting in June.
Free, Theo’s creative counterpart, will be running the cereal bar on weekdays and Theo will be working weekends. The duo are both DJs, so you can expect some great new music to be flowing through the aux cord into the patio.
Follow Cereal and Such on Instagram. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm, perfect for a late breakfast or afternoon snack.
Cereal and Such at Virgil Normal
4157 Normal Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029