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Change is Brewing: Will L.A. Swallow the New Coffee 'Bar' Culture?

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Inside Intelligentsia, Venice (Photo by R.E.˜ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Inside Intelligentsia, Venice (Photo by R.E.˜ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
In the 1990s, coffeehouse culture found consumers embracing the $3 latte, loitering on mis-matched furniture in dimly-lit rooms where poets, artists, and, of course, writers, sat for hours nursing their espresso. Then came Starbucks, now a multi-national institution, and it holds to this day that, especially in Los Angeles, on any given day a location's tables are laden with the laptops of would-be screenwriters, bloggers, and college students, next to cooling cups of coffee.

The tides are turning, or shifting, to a new kind of cafe, though, says the New York Times. It's the Coffee Bar.

This is not your home office away from home, though. Here, stools at counters replace comfy chairs, and table tops with access to a plug. “It puts the emphasis on the coffee and the barista," explains Christian Geckeler of the website Man Seeking Coffee.

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Among the many NY and other city spots referenced as being of this new generation of coffee spots, the Times cites Venice's Intelligentsia, the second of three locations in Los Angeles of the Chicago-based roaster and retailer. Earlier this year, however, their Silver Lake location ranked as one of the best non-chain coffee houses for L.A. writers to get their work done. And if you've ever walked into the Venice location, you're sure to pass the stadium-like seating section of laptop-pers tapping away.

Are L.A.'s coffee-centric spots ready to do away with the tables and chairs in favor of the new kind of Coffee Bar culture? Doesn't seem likely. Heck, we can barely scrounge up a decent cup of joe in the wee hours!