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The Arts District's Latest Coffeeshop Also Houses A Barbershop And Gallery

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The Arts District welcomes its latest coffeeshop with the opening of RVCC Intersect by 8th Street at Santa Fe Avenue.

The espresso bar and community space was opened by Nicolo Rusconi and Chris Adams. Rusconi is the co-founder of the BLVD developement group, which brought the Ace Hotel and Chicas Tacos to downtown, and is currently developing the forthcoming Arts District SoHo House not two blocks away from Intersect. Adams previously opened RVCC, a private club in downtown.

"We took over the space about a year and a half ago," Rusconi told LAist. "The idea was to create a community hub. You know, in the '80s, '90s, even the 2000s, coffeeshops were really these community spaces where people would come together, talk, hang out, drink coffee, and I think we've kind of lost that in the last decade."

The coffee is from local coffee roasters Take Flight—their head roaster will be a barista at Intersect. The espresso machine, custom-designed by Mavam, is built into the bar, and pastries are sourced from Sugarbloom.

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The Intersect space itself feels like the living room of your cool friend's downtown loft: plenty of leather, marble, and natural light from the large windows. Adams and Rusconi designed the interiors with the help of furniture maker Timothy Oulton, who has created spaces around the world including The Blue Room at the Los Angeles Athletics Club.

“Timothy is my favorite furniture designer,” Adams notes. “He’s one of the only people pushing the envelope in design both quality-wise and conceptually. He’s one of the only designers that I feel something when I walk into a room full of his work.”

Furthermore, chess boards, curiosities, even a Monopoly game pepper the space. And how about a haircut to go with that brew? In the back of the cafe, Randall Aquilina has opened up Etiquette Barbers. “There aren’t many businesses that have the ability to create a stronger sense of community than barber or coffee shops,” Aquilina said. “We take pride in pioneering the outer boundaries of this district and in being a major part of bringing everyone together.”

Next to the Etiquette space, a series of black-and-white landscape photos disguise a backroom. "When we got the space, there was a huge shark tank where those photos are," Rusconi told LAist. "The previous owner wanted to put sharks in there. The aquarium was SeaWorld quality when we found it. Honestly."

That backroom currently houses a pop-up gallery run by The Hollywood Crows. However, Intersect is looking to convert the space into a mezcal bar by next year. "We will have one of the largest mezcal selections in the country," Rusconi tells LAist. "We're partnering with [Mal Bien] to bring that in."

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RVCC Intersect Espresso Bar and Community Lounge is located at 2406 East 8th Street in the Arts District. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.