A Valley Coffeehouse Goes 24 Hours
A late-night coffeehouse is tough to find. One open all night long is even harder. Sure, there are all-night diners like Norms and the 101 Coffee Shop, but true coffeehouses, whether it be one with an eclectic menu, cozy couches, hand-picked teas or other unique tendencies, are sorely needed in Los Angeles.
When Crave Cafe opened a little over a year ago, it was a welcome addition to one of Sherman Oaks' busiest intersections at Ventura and Van Nuys. It boasted outdoor seating (heat lamps included), brick exposed walls, a smattering of round tables, couches against the walls and menu beyond coffee and tea. We're not talking just bagels and baked sweet goods, there's eggs and omelettes, crepes and pancakes, salads and organic based soups, paninis and self serve frozen frozen yogurt with toppings.
One could argue that doesn't sound very coffeehouse-like--more like a cafe as its name suggests--but the place still keeps that artsy-rustic coffeehouse vibe. And opening a coffee-related small business during a recession in a Starbucks-laden town (there's five in Sherman Oaks alone and two more just on the neighborhood's outskirts), diversification may be a winning move. So winning, in fact, last November, the owner decided to go with a 24-hour operation, save for Sunday evenings, midnight until 8 a.m. on Mondays (in case you're wondering, the kitchen serves throughout the night).