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Checking Out Antigua Coffee House at its New Cypress Park Location

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David Kimbrough, a frequent contributor to our LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr and the occassional guest writer, chiming in on concerts at MacArthur Park and fishing in the L.A. River, today shares with us a coffee house he thinks is worth taking note of. Thanks, David!

It may not seem possible to read a review of yet another coffee shop on the eastern end of Los Angeles and find something you have not already read a couple of dozen times. Yet somehow there is something new to read because Antigua Coffee House is not just another place to get a caffeine fix. Sure it has amazing coffees, which they roast themselves, teas, and smoothies with a Mayan flavor (they come in three sizes, ce, ome, and yei) and an awesome selection of muffins, biscotti, cakes, and other baked goods. The truly hungry can even have sandwiches, soups, and salads - although some items may run low the closer you get to closing time. Beyond what you can eat or drink, free Wi-Fi is available at the tables, available both inside and on the sidewalk. And, yes, you can find art work of local artists hanging on the walls which are part of warm and charmingly decorated café.

However none of these are what sets Antigua Coffee House apart from the crowded field of coffee emporia. Rather it is the unique combination of a warm, neighborhood coffee shop where the locals can get something other than re-warmed, off-the-shelf coffee, the only one in the rather unassuming blue-collar neighborhood of Cypress Park, and an exciting place where art, music, and politics are all as much in the air as is the smell of brewing coffee.

The owner, Yancy Quinones, grew-up and still lives in the neighborhood and wanted to create a unique combination of art, drink, and community. Originally located near his alma mater (Cal State Los Angeles) in El Sereno, the coffee house moved to its current location last September, within a block of two other of his almae matris, Loreto Elementary and Florence Nightingale Middle School. He brought with him a loyal clientele, some of whom come all the way from Ventura. Certainly there are few coffee shops that close down and street and hold a block party for the regulars (you can see the photos on their Facebook account). So there is something new under the sun in Los Angeles when it comes to getting more than just a great cup of coffee.

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3400 North Figueroa Street, at the corner of Loreto Street