Monday, January 24, 2011

Charlie's Coffee House

Arroyo-adjacent South Pas residents: this is your coffee house! Charlie's had its grand opening on January 15 and it's already making a big caffeinated splash with the westernmost residents of our fair city. The locally owned shop is in the newish circular brick and stucco building on Monterey Road near Foremost liquor. (Look left as you approach the confusing intersection of train tracks, Arroyo Drive and Pasadena Avenue.) While it might not have the historic setting of Busters or Kaldi, Charlie's holds its own in a chic space with a beautiful collection of photographs. There is cool music, plenty of parking and the biggest ceiling fan you will ever see. Plus, Charlie's brews are made only with beans from Pasadena-based Jameson Brown coffee roasters -- and that alone scores big points with java connoisseurs. (It is pretty darned great coffee, I must admit. In fact, I might be in trouble if Charlie's decides to offer a 31 ounce size...)

22 comments:

Judy Williams said...

Oh I can't wait to check it out on my next visit. I always love to support the local businesses rather than the big corporate ones.

Mister Earl said...

I stopped by there a couple times last week. I like the feel of the place. I did like the "Big Ass Fan" (that's the actual brand name) on the ceiling. Just think of it as a Giant Fan, like me.

dbdubya said...

It's good to see that this project is finally finished. It was developed by former Councilman Dave Margrave who used to have his plumbing contracting business on the same corner. He moved his shop to El Centro near Orange Grove Park and submitted plans for senior housing here. There were accusations of conflict of interest since he was on the Council and they were dealing with many issues over the light rail system at that corner. After he was off the Council, he changed the plans to make it a retail center. It's a good location, and a nice looking building. Lets hope Charlies and whoever else goes in there do well.

Dixie Jane said...

I'd like to invite you to join me under the "Big Ass Fan" for coffee at Charlie's. A really neat looking place.

JF said...

Great to have a coffee stop on the way to work for me. I like their coffee and tea- also like their art on display. If South Pasadena could work on trying to fill the several very large industrial/office buildings next to it, it would help business tremendously.

TheChieftess said...

Looks like a fun place!!! Hope it succeeds!!! Love that it's locally roasted coffee!!!

Green Guy said...

Wow! Good to know. Perfect for a commute.

Shanna said...

I can't wait to go there!!!

Arroyo Adjacent Shanna

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about this either. Great location for the morning drive.

Mister Earl said...

I believe the owner of Charlies is David Margrave's daughter.

dbdubya said...

I believe you're correct, Mr. E. I know that Dave's daughter was going to open a business there, and this must be it.

alex said...

i can smell the joe already! can't wait to try it.

Mister Earl said...

DB: The article on Patch about Charlie's said, "Margrave said she decided to open the coffee house because she liked the location..." I thought that was funny because they didn't mention that her family owned the property and built the building! I do wish them success, but I wonder how many coffee dispensaries we can support.

dbdubya said...

She liked the location because her dad built it! Given the location, it will hopefully do well. Not a lot of competition on that end of town.

WV: hyper - your reaction after drinking new Starbucks Big Gulp.

Trish said...

I stopped in when I was in town...tho I'm not a coffee person. I lol'd at first because I do know the history of the building too.

Seems like a good fit, now that they've geared that intersection towards train commuters, rather than vehicles. I suspect they may do better and pull some biz from the cross town rivals in that they are on the edge of town.

Of course SoPas had an issue with the building, permits or process---or had a conflict issue---that's sort of the way things roll...like not renewing contracts...oy.

LOVE the big ass fan!

& Mr Earl---am sure she LOVED the location because they had the property AND b/c of the train...as usual, some leeetle facts get left out of some articles...oopsie!

Mister Earl said...

The train doesn't stop there, so I don't see how it adds to the location. The train stops near Busters and Heirloom and several other new eateries.

Laurie said...

It's perfect for freeway commuters. Jon stopped over there on his way to work the other day.

Whatever the building's history or the family relations involved, it's a great little coffee shop. As a java junkie, I'm thrilled to have something on this side of town. And that Jameson Brown coffee really was seriously good.

Jon said...

I really enjoyed my first trip to Charlie's the other day. I hope it does well too. If I could turn right instead of left to get there, I'd probably be there all the time.

I also really enjoyed the photo. The angles (shooting and observed) tickle something in me. The whole thing feels big and small, like a model or maybe something stacked out of Bit's blocks.

Mister Earl said...

I'll stop by when I'm going that way to work. But I will be loyal to the Starbucks at Wells Fargo because I know most of the baristas, and they give me special treatment. It's also a good place to run into everyone in town!

Laurie said...

I always laugh that Starbucks gets top billing over Wells on that building. Hey, during this economy of COURSE the coffee trumps the bank!

I'm pretty partial to Kaldi because I love the setting and the entire vibe is just so cool there. My hipness factor increases just by passing by that place. And Busters is another great spot to grab a cup of coffee, but I often end up with ice cream too because, well, I have no willpower when it comes to coffee OR chocolate.

With my serious caffeine habit, I can definitely support another coffee house, especially a local one. I really like Charlie's and I hope it does well.

Laurie said...

By local one, I also meant locally owned. Shop local, people! It's good for our town, it's good for small business owners and, in this case, it's good for my never-ending coffee jones.

Warren said...

I had no idea this had been built! Shows you how long it's been since I've been back to SP. Growing up it was Morrow and Holman Plumbing and it took up the entire corner (owned by Dave Margrave - I went to school with one of his sons). Anyhow, cool to see a new, local coffee house on the west side, that's not corporate.