As we wind down the final day of summer 2014, we find ourselves immersed in the beachy coffee scene down in San Diego. Back in July we featured San Diego in our Build-Outs of Summer series, highlighting the plucky mobile coffee service happening at Coffee Cycle. Today let’s check out a bit of a bigger operation: Bird Rock Coffee are expanding out to a second location in San Diego’s Little Italy, stocked with gear from Synesso, Wilbur Curtis Co., and more. It’s been quite a busy summer for the Bird Rock; the brand is also opening a new roastworks as well.
As told to Sprudge by Chuck Patton.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
It is located in Little Italy, an area in San Diego between the airport and downtown. It is 1450 square feet…we are hoping to create a coffee destination that will move some of the concepts and design elements we have at our Bird Rock [La Jolla] location forward to create something that is welcoming and exciting.
What’s your approach to coffee?
It all comes down to the quality, taste and source of the coffee. One can have all the bells and whistles and trappings of all the hippest 3rd wave coffee spots but if the coffee is just average, or if they are offering the same coffees that everyone else around is offering, then what is the point?
We have spent years now traveling to origin and developing a network of partners all over the world: farmers, exporters, importers, and contacts that help us to secure some really interesting and unique coffees year-round.
When it comes to roasting and serving this coffee, our hope is that people will have an “Oh wow!” moment with their first sip and it becomes clear to them instantly why we spend some much time and energy trying to get everything just right.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Two Synesso hydras, a three-group and a two-group.
We are still investigating under-the-counter hot water towers at this time but the space itself has to be clean and streamlined so we wanted to create a space where most of the equipment, aside from the grinders and the espresso machines, are hidden or at least not in plain sight. We want the attention to be on the coffee and give our baristas as many opportunities as possible to interact with our customers in a relaxed low-stress, unpretentious environment.
What’s your hopeful target opening month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
David Robinson Design, who designed Stone’s breweries and restaurants happens to be our neighbor in Bird Rock so we hired him. His team has come up with some really cool ideas. He helped move us forward design-wise, yet helped us to maintain our beach-town feel. Indo Teak is doing our finish woodwork. Indo Teak is another local company that works only with reclaimed teak sourced from building tear-downs in Indonesia. We are not going with the over-used worn wood look but we do have some nice surprises in store, creative uses for reclaimed wood that looks modern and sleek.
In addition, we have designated a large section of our current space as the Art Cooperative. So, over the years, we have worked with many local artists, in addition to organizations like ARTREACH and High Tec High. We look forward to working with many of these artists at the new space as well.