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No Such Thing as a Free Cup of Coffee Now at Historic Pantry Restaurant

Photo by AlonsoP via Flickr
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As of July 1, patrons of the Original Pantry restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles have been asked to pay for a cup of coffee with their breakfasts for the firs time in the cafe's 87-year history. Now the cuppa joe runs 50 cents, says the L.A. Times, a price change "ordered by the Original Pantry's current owner, former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, to offset increased food costs."

Apparently few have complained--or even realized their freebie was off the menu. The Pantry manager was worried about angry backlash during breakfast, when a cup of coffee used to be an automatic free pour, but "only three or four customers have commented on the change. And none them complained." He estimates two-thirds of the customers hadn't even realized there was no charge for the coffee until this month.

During the rest of the day, the Pantry charges $1.95 for the coffee--which is much closer to the $2 and up many of us pay for a cup at Starbucks or other big coffeehouse chains. Of course, nothing beats free, but 50 cents for a cup of coffee is still a pretty great deal.