Local bookworms and fans of independent bookstores now have a new place to grab a cup of coffee or a snack while they peruse their latest find.
Catalina Coffee Cafe—owned by the same people behind in South Redondo Beach—has opened in the empty space at the front of on Artesia Boulevard. The cafe celebrated its "soft open" for about two weeks before last Friday's grand opening.
"I think it's great. We're very simpatico," said bookstore owner Terry Gilman. "You can really feel the difference in the energy of the building."
In addition to coffee and the like, the new Catalina Coffee Cafe serves beer and wine, as well as a small selection of lunch and dinner items. Owner Jeff Sallee told Patch that this iteration of the coffee shop "perfected" his vision.
"The vision has actually been fulfilled in this place," said owner Jeff Sallee.
Sallee buys local whenever he can—the meats the cafe uses are roasted at Manhattan Meats—and he's constantly on the hunt for new products.
He's also catering to the local bicycle community, with bike racks installed on the sidewalk outside the bookstore and cafe as part of the Leadership Redondo Class of 2011 project and a bike corral placed in the parking lot.
"We designed our space around (the bicyclists)," he said. "We chose our locations around them."
And a third Catalina Coffee is in the works, Sallee said. Preliminary plans call for a coffee shop to open as part of the new environmentally friendly Redondo Auto Spa, which will replace the blighted car wash property on Torrance Boulevard.
"(We're) very optimistic," Sallee said.