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First Look: Tyler Wells’ Blacktop Espresso Bar in Los Angeles

tyler wells blacktop coffee

All photos by Amparo Rios. Mustached Wells is pictured here at right.

Blacktop, the new project of Intelligentsia alumnus and Handsome Coffee Roasters Co-Founder Tyler Wells, opened last Wednesday at 826 E. 3rd Street in the Los Angeles Arts District.

The 200-plus-square-foot bar is tight and clean in size and scope, offering a menu featuring San Francisco’s Sightglass Coffee that includes white (milk-augmented espresso drinks), black (straight espressos and Americanos), brewed coffees (dailies and specials), chocolate (mocha), chais and teas. As a bonus, Handsome cohort food truck Guerilla Tacos is currently parking outside Blacktop four days a week.

Among the new bar’s notable touches is the use of delightfully retro-earthy cups from Sausalito-based Heath Ceramics.

blacktop espresso coffee los angeles

Wells was one of three founding partners of Handsome Coffee, which was recently acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee, after Wells had already left the Handsome team. Handsome’s flagship roastery and bar is a mere 0.7 miles from Wells’ new Blacktop shop in the downtown L.A. district, which has seen one of the country’s most prolific high-end-coffee retail booms over the past three years (including big openings, recent and forthcoming, from the likes of Verve Coffee Roasters, Demitasse and Stumptown).

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For some insight on Wells’ departure from Handsome, as well as his vision for Blacktop, check out this interview prior to the new shop’s opening from L.A. Weekly.

(All photos here are used with permission from incredibly talented L.A.-based photographer Amparo Rios.)

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