Tag Archives: Intelligentsia

Umami Burger Pasadena Opening Soon

Umami Burger, the fast growing cross cultural chain, is soon to open its doors in Pasadena.  Located at 49 E. Colorado Boulevard (the old Naga Naga Ramen space), the latest outpost for Umami is slated to open on Wednesday, October 17th, but was told by some insiders that it may be pushed a few days.

Each Umami location has a unique feel and decor and this one is going to be “sleek, modern and minimalist, inspired by the nearby Apple Store.”  What?  Why?  Don’t get me wrong, I really like this kind of look but Pasadena is known for some great architecture and design, neither of which fits this mold.  I really think ownership missed out on a great opportunity to showcase the local design and feel.

With Intelligentsia Coffee next door, this retail stretch can now be known as hipster central.  However, I am really excited by this opening.  I really like a few of their burgers and think its a great dining option to the budding restaurant scene here in Pasadena.  With Blaze Pizza coming soon, there will be two great additions to the area!

The space isn’t overly large, maybe seating 60 or so patrons with mostly 4-tops, a bunch of 2-tops and one 6-top round picnic style table.  I was able to snap some photos today as their signage was going up.  What are your thoughts?


Silverlake Wine Owners Coming to Pasadena

The owners of Silverlake Wine are hoping to replicate their success in Pasadena where Heritage Wine Company failed.  A notice to transfer licenses is now posted in the window of 155 N. Raymond Avenue and I’m sure construction will begin shortly.

Silverlake Wine has been a hit since it opened — featuring great tastings and events with a knowledgeable, yet unpretentious, staff .  The wines (and spirits) they carry are all high quality with great prices and clearly their patrons think they are doing something right given the 5 out of 5 rating on Yelp (with 225 reviews).

I for one can’t wait to see it open.  I am also hopeful that they will include some of the outside vendors like Heirloom LA and Cake Monkey in this new venture, similar to what they do in Silver Lake now (and yes, since Heirloom is no longer at Intelligentsia, hopefully I can get my fill here).

Stay tuned for updates.


Intelligentsia Pasadena

While it has been well documented that Intelligentsia opened in Old Town Pasadena, I thought I would add my own two cents regarding the distinctive and different coffeehouse location.

As Doug Zell (Intelligentsia CEO) promised, the new location opened on time in midsummer.  The interior is a totally different layout than the companies previous two California locations.  While Silver Lake was a new concept for most, the Venice location really upped the ante.  The architecture layout, the inventiveness and the overall cool factor in Venice is undeniable.  So when it was announced that Intelligentsia was coming to Pasadena I had really high hopes.

 While I had poked my head in prior to the opening, Mrs. Scoop and I went to the “opening party.”  While it is customary for the two of us to show up to events and parties late, I made sure we were in Old Town right at 8pm, when it was called for.  I figured that while the party was for those who were involved in the process of opening the coffeehouse, it was not exclusive as Intelligentsia tweeted about it for people to come.  We quickly found out that arriving early was the smart move as the space quickly filled up.  When we left, there was a massive line and the doorman was not letting people in.

While originally disappointed by the layout and look, I have had time to reflect and realize that while it is not as amazing (in my mind) as the Venice location, it is uber-cool for Pasadena.  Not only has it raised the bar for Old Town, but it certainly adds a hip factor previously lacking in the area.  With Heirloom LA creating delicious eats and Cake Monkey providing the sweets, this place is a can’t miss.

Intelligentsia Update

As Intelligentsia Coffee continues to push forward with a midsummer opening in Pasadena, news comes that construction has started at the much anticipated storefront.  Iron welders were seen outside today putting up the framework for a counter.  Doug Zell, Chief Executive of Intelligentsia, previously stated that the Pasadena location would “be as distinctive as Venice but in an entirely different direction… Similar DNA but the look and feel is very, very different in a way that hasn’t been done in the U.S. yet for a coffeehouse. We want to continue to push the boundaries of the coffee making process.” 

While I am hesitant to question Mr. Zell and the magic he creates at each Intelligentsia, his bold statement makes this location have to live up to a lot.  I have been able to scoop some information on the layout for the diehards out there. 

The location has 3,068 SF between two floors (1st floor entrance and a basement).  Capacity for seating is to be set at 72, which includes three “dining” areas and two different bars.  Each dining area will have tables and chairs (obviously), with a portion of each being built-ins (benches, tables extending from wall, etc.).  While there will only be one counter, there are two distinct bars.  The first part of the bar will be the “coffee counter” and further back is the “service bar” which will have the beer, wine, etc. 

Interior furnishings will include: reclaimed wood flooring, exposed brick on the western wall, painted walls on all others, wood ceiling (which I’m excited to see how it turns out) and supposedly a wood bar with steel trim.  With the ceiling being raised, the entire space feels a lot larger than it is. 

The basement will be home to Intelligentsia’s training for employees, lockers, office and other in-house necessities. 

As construction pushes forward, please check back for pictures and, more importantly, what are your thoughts on this news?

Intelligentsia Update

As previously reported in February, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea will be moving into new digs in Pasadena around midsummer… at 55 E. Colorado Boulevard in Old Town.  This location is between Mi Piace and Barney’s Beanery just west of Raymond Avenue. 

In addition to the location being revealed, news has come out that the high end coffee cafe is applying for a license to sell beer and wine.  While this may shock some of you, Intelligentsia has already partnered with Eagle Rock Brewery to “do some really exciting things with coffee.  Instead of going for a traditional dark beer, we want to experiment doing a lighter coffee beer.” 

With the storefront having great street exposure, my big question is where will people park?!?!  Old Town is already a nightmare when it comes to finding a spot and now add a hip, cool, fun place like Intelligentsia and the problem is compounded exponentially.  Personally, I would have rather seen the cafe forego Colorado Boulevard and head to E. Union Street near POP Champagne, Quadrupel Brasserie and Dish Bistro & Bar

I’m sure I speak for many of you in saying I can’t wait until it is finally open.  You will find me grabbing a beer or coffee on the weekends there… that is if I can find a spot nearby.

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea

Just when you were getting tired of Starbucks and Peet’s for your caffeine rush, news came out that Chicago-based, Silverlake revered Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is coming to Pasadena.  While the exact location is being kept under wraps, locals can expect to see a midsummer opening and a completely unique coffeehouse experience.