Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
May 15, 2010 03:29 PM

Coffeehouse/Private Club: Does This Exist?

Does this exist? Kind of a coffeehouse (yes, think Starbucks), but larger, with mostly overstuffed chairs and maybe a sofa or two. Carpet on the floor, not tile. Either no windows or small ones (leaded glass?) A fireplace! Yes, a fireplace. Low light and not too noisy. I'm kinda sorta of thinking of those clubs for upper class Englishmen you see in the movies. A place to go for coffee or dessert to hang out. Unurban does the hangout and talk part, but is way too counterculture and too crowded, i.e., chairs too close together. (This is not a critique of Unurban. It's cool. It's just not what I'm seeking in this message.) BTW, although I mentioned private club and upper class and all that, those aren't essential features. Just trying to convey the sense of the sort of place I have in mind.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you happen to enjoy drinking at times and don't mind a good cigar now and again, then the Buena Vista Cigar Club in Beverly Hills would probably appeal to you. It's public, but has the feel you are looking for.

    1. how about the lobby at the peninsula hotel bh or the ritz in mdr?
      you could order coffee and dessert at either place.
      (note: even with validation, the ritz will still charge for parking)
      if you go to the ritz, be aware that their cookies are not too good, so i'd recommend ordering something else for dessert.
      they do serve french press coffee, though, so the coffee will be very fresh.

      8 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        Thanks for the two suggestions so far. Either would probably work. I was just talking to a friend and he described what I was looking for in more succient terms. Imagine an airplane made up of three different coffeehouses. If Starbucks is coach, what's business class and what's first class?

          1. re: homeboy4

            if you are considering a hotel lobby ... O Hotel lobby has couches on either side of the fireplace in the (small) lobby see picture in the slide show at:

            The O Bar & Kitchen is just to the right of the fireplace where you can order at the bar or wait (and wait!) for a server.

            O Hotel
            819 S. Flower Street, LA 90017
            (213) 623-9904

            1. re: yinyangdi

              Or, if cost is no object then just camp in the lobby lounge of the Beverly Hills Montage and, while you're noshing there arrange a tour of their largest condo residence at only $16.85 million.

          2. re: westsidegal

            both the peninsula and the ritz would be first class.
            are you looking for a place for a business meeting or for a first date or what?
            maybe that would help us narrow down the options.

            1. re: westsidegal

              I'm sure I have enough from which to choose. Thanks all. But to answer the question. It's not a date or a business meeting though the latter is closer. It's "hang out with a male friend." Business lunches and dinners -- got it. Going to clubs with a male friends, each of us chasing some "company" -- got it. But if there is no dinner, it's not about getting drunk, there's no game to go see, neither of us is horned up, and we just want to TALK, what then? Coffeehouse, right? But I'm starting to repeat myself. Just answering your question. Not a date, and in this case, not a business meeting.

              1. re: homeboy4

                for your purposes, then, i stand by my two original recommendations: the peninsula hotel in beverly hills and the ritz carlton in mdr (getting something OTHER than their cookies for dessert).
                fwiw, i believe that the parking at the ritz is about $16 WITH validation,
                but near the peninsula there is ample METERED street parking on the south side of wilshire (so bring quarters)

                1. re: westsidegal

                  There is a metered parking lot across the street from the Ritz carlton in MDR. But even if you avoid valet, you should still be prepared to drop a lot of cash there. We spent a lovely evening there this past winter, but alcoholic coffee drinks were $18 each. Ouch!

          3. You wouldn't mistake it for private or exclusive, but Catalina Coffee in Redondo Beach does have overstuffed chairs and sofas, a fireplace, a chess table or 2, scads of books, and some darkish corners. The coffee is home-roasted and good (if not stellar) as are the baked goods, sandwiches, etc.

            1. You might want to venture into Koreatown. I'm thinking Loft Cafe, Cafe Mak, or Koffea might fit the bill, though all can be varying degrees of weird and/or overpriced. Can't vouch for the presence of Englishmen, fireplaces or ,uh, leaded glass.

              610 S Berendo St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

              Cafe Mak
              612 Shatto Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005

              2 Replies
                1. re: homeboy4

                  I wouldn't bother patronizing any place I wasn't comfortable wearing both. Hey, I wonder if Hef is serving coffee at the Mansion?

              1. The Athenaeum at California Institute of Technology. It's a private club for members and their guests. If you are not a member they have a reciprocal agreement with clubs and university clubs around the world. See their website for the listing.

                If you saw the movie Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy, the dining room scene was shot at The Athenaeum dining room.