As of today, the historic View Park-Windsor Hill neighborhood has a new daytime cafe. Barbara Jean and chef Jason Fullilove, and Parlor owners Ajay Relan and Yonnie Hagos opened Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, and the trio wants to be more than just another breakfast and lunch spot. The partners are poised to launch a movement within the neighborhood: To bring more locally-owned dining options to the South LA neighborhood of View Park-Windsor Hill.
Relan and Hagos were disappointed with the limited number of independent dining and coffee options south of the 10 Freeway. Throughout Windsor Park, Inglewood, and all over South LA, corporate chains remain dominant. That observation inspired Relan and Hagos to partner with Fullilove and create something close to home, as Hagos was born and raised blocks away from Hilltop.
“As we explored ways to grow our business, we noticed a whole pocket of the city that’s mainly chain restaurants,” said Ajay. “We pride ourselves of being young and people of color that grew up here. This is our way of giving back.”
The first of its kind in the area, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen actually sits at the top of Slauson and Overhill. The area already has some respected longtime businesses, including Simply Wholesome, Puerto Nuevo Coffee, or Orleans & York, but Hilltop is thinking forward. The new restaurant is where remote workers and the community can connect over Fullilove’s morning or lunch bowls, breakfast sandwiches, and beignets, which are served all day long.
After gutting a former office building, the crew replaced the walls with large windows, natural woods, and easy custom art within 1,700 square feet. Hilltop has ample seating and a patio where anyone can plug-in, connect, and eat. Local roaster Blackwelder Coffee Co. provides the beans, and cold-pressed juices hail from Thriv Drinking Project.
The partners don’t see their neighbors as competition. “You can never have too many options. Venice has prime eating destinations on every block. When first moving here from Ethiopia, my aunt got her first job from Purcell Keeling (Simply Wholesome’s owner).”
After settling in, dinner hours could be part of the future. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.