The burgeoning 9th Street coffee corridor between Flower and Hope was slashed in half with the sudden demise of Coffee Bean in late January. The diminutive space tucked next to Ralph’s has been stripped of any semblance of its coffee slinging past and is already on the hunt for a new tenant as realtor signs have been posted in the windows. While limited square footage has proven to be a struggle for restaurants beyond the purview of Downtown LA (AMMO on Melrose, for instance), South Park’s ever-growing foot traffic should continue to make the corner of 9th and Hope a desirable location. Sure, the vacancy may simply give way to another coffee shop or bank of ATMs, but let’s dream for a minute and consider the possibilities of Coffee Bean’s replacement:
- Brooklyn Bagel Bakery – The former Westlake stalwart still operates out of a commercial kitchen for its wholesale enterprise, but the storefront on Beverly has been closed since 2015 due to significant structural damage to the building as it eyes a 2018 return. South Park, simply put, is devoid of any viable bagel options and would stand to benefit from the addition of one of the best in the business. Just like the shop within the bakery, this location would be a no-frills, take-away driven outpost that helps elevate Downtown LA’s nonexistent (sans Wexler’s) bagel game.
- Chopped By La Scala – Sure, there’s a Simply Salad two doors down but we’re talking about one of the greatest food inventions in the history of Los Angeles – and it’s heathy-ish. Forget about the classic Italian gut bombs elsewhere on the menu and the tradition of dining al fresco on Canon, Chopped by La Scala would be a get in, grab your salad, and get on with life establishment that rewrites the script on lunch in DTLA.
- ERB Burger – There’s much talk and excitement about the impending arrival of Shake Shack, but arguably the best burger in the city already exists in Downtown LA at Matt Molina’s Everson Royce Bar. Let’s take that concept out of the Arts District and bring it to South Park in the form of a burgers-only stand that would surely attract crowds akin to a Saturday afternoon at Howlin’ Ray’s.
- Brothecary – Best known for its bone broth and dumplings thanks to its presence at Smorgasburg and most recently, at a pop-up in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, Brothecary has a solid track record for outputting a quality product within the confines of limited space. The demand for bone broth remains high and while Whole Foods occasionally sells mass distributed bottles of the nutrition-packed drink, the nearest competition would be the offerings crafted by Grand Central Market’s Belcampo Meat Co.
- Wax Paper – Already regarded as one of the hottest spots to grab a bite in the city, the sandwich shop operates out of a repurposed shipping container in Frogtown just north of Echo Park. Instead of being a destination that requires a vehicle for visitation, DTLAer encourages Wax Paper to consider the possibilities of launching a second location in pedestrian-friendly Downtown LA with sandwiches named after area food bloggers. We’ll take two Farley Elliotts.
Got an idea for what should replace Coffee Bean? Let us know in the comments section below.