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When God Closes A Door He Opens A Window

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While the Du-par's in the Farmer's Market at Fairfax & Third, which has been shuttered for I can't remember how long, is finally set to re-open on December 26 at 6:00 A.M, it's time to say farewell to venerable coffee shop Highland Grounds, which after today will temporarily shut down to undergo a makeover and rechristening. The space that was once a gay bar known as Greg's Blue Dot and then Highland Grounds for 17 years will reopen on January 10, 2007 as The Dive. The ownership will remain the same, but the new venture will become a bar/nightclub type joint in the evening while remaining a coffee shop during the day. Located on Highland just north of Melrose, Highland Grounds was a truly rare species, a neighborhood coffee shop with an unpretentious vibe, a steadfast local clientele and most importantly, a surprisingly diverse and delicious menu.

The soon-to-be-former Highland Grounds plans to continue serving many but not all of the dishes on the menu (sob!). Here's hoping they never do away with the chilaquiles, the HHS Blues Burrito, the Chipotle scramble, the Benedict Arnold (a uniquely Angeleno take on the traditional Eggs Benedict with two eggs resting on corn bread instead of English muffins and covered with Jack cheese, enchilada sauce, sour cream and pico de gallo instead of Hollandaise) and my personal favorite, the Desayuno Fuerte (potato pancakes topped with eggs, sauteed spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and Parmesan cheese). There will be no live music at The Dive. Highland Grounds' open mic night hosted by Michael McCarthy will move to El Cid, and there will be "mixologist" on hand to listen to your woes.

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Special thanks to Rob Takata for assistance in writing this article and for introducing me to Highland Grounds.

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