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A New 70s-Themed Coffeehouse Wakes Up a Sleepy Stretch of PCH in Hermosa Beach

Hi-Fi Espresso brings a groovy vibe to the South Bay

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Hi-Fi Espresso in Hermosa Beach
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

There’s a funky new 1970s-themed coffeehouse in Hermosa Beach that opened yesterday along Pacific Coast Highway called Hi-Fi Espresso. The shop blends coffee, music, and food from the disco era. Husband and wife team Jeff and Karen Prugh moved back to Los Angeles from New York in 2016, but they found it challenging to find a spot to work with decent music and wifi in this part of the South Bay.

Karen used to own a hair salon and Jeff was previously in film production, but they took the leap into the coffee world because of their experiences in New York City, where there are quality shops on practically every corner.

Jeff Prugh on why they opened a coffee shop: “I fell in love with coffee culture while living in New York. Most shops had one thing in common, Counter Culture Coffee. And even though we contacted a handful of roasters, Counter Culture Coffee were welcoming from day one, even helped us with training. Our baristas signed up for their classes, and the support is just incredible. But the quality and the taste is incomparable. They have the best smelling bean in the world.”

Operating in 600 square feet presents some challenges, so all food preparation takes place off the premises, and from their trusted purveyors. Hi-Fi Espresso offers tea from August Uncommon Tea, San Luis Obispo’s Whalebird Kombucha, and pastry or sandwiches from FarmShop.

If the coffee house looks somewhat old school, that’s intentional. The shop is inspired by the cinema, fashion, and vibes of the 1970s. But the name, “Hi-Fi,” hails from the film Boogie Nights. Jeff explains, “There’s a scene in the movie with Don Cheadle where he explains hi-fidelity to a customer. It has every emotion you can ever feel, with drama and comedy, and he can’t explain what Hi-Fi means. So when we were figuring out a name, we went back to watch the scene, and it was done.”

Hi-Fi Espresso has a membership program for customers that want to get a caffeine fix in a hurry. For $50, members can get one drink, per day, for an entire month. Hi-Fi is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hi-Fi Espresso
227 Pacific Coast Highway
Hermosa Beach, CA