Andante Coffee has opened its third Los Angeles shop, occupying a modest street-level space in a 1924 building that was one of the country’s first parking structures.
For years simply known as “Building at 816 Grand Avenue,” the eight-story South Park Lofts building has survived numerous uses over the decades, most recently being renovated in 2002 to house 49 upscale lofts before it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 for its historic significance as a parking structure.
With its new shop, led by founders Steve Hyun and Tommy Kim, Andante joins a boom of new businesses near the Eighth and Grand intersection in DTLA, including a forthcoming Whole Foods store that will anchor a 700-unit upscale apartment complex. The great irony here is of course that parking has become increasingly hard to find in the area, but let’s leave that to the city planners.
Like Andante’s two other shops — the first in the Fairfax district and the second in Echo Park — the new shop is supplied by Andante’s off-site roasting operation in Koreatown, and features a simple contemporary drink menu of espresso-and-milk drinks, teas, and pourover coffees. Also like the other shops, there’s no website — or really any online presence at all — for the new shop, outside of consumer review sites. Andante’s growth has been fueled by word-of-mouth and neighborhood associations, a quaint concept as the sun begins its descent on 2015.
L.A.-based photographer Amparo Rios recently stopped by the new shop, capturing these photos for Daily Coffee News: