If you’re looking for a nice, old fashioned community coffee shop in LA–the kind where you can sip your java and chat with like-minded people in an unhurried environment–check out Bob’s Espresso Bar. Located in the NoHo arts district, it’s the perfect place to meet up with friends before seeing a local play or an indie flick at the Laemmle Theatres across the street. The coffee and desserts are delicious, inexpensive, and lovingly crafted by its owner, Robert “Bob” Romanus, best known for his starring role as “Damone” in the Gen-X cult classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Romanus wanted to set up a joint where artists could relax and share ideas, so he makes everyone who walks through the door feel right at home. It almost feels like you’ve been transported to outer-borough New York, where the locals need only to nod to get their coffee just the way they like it. If you’re here in the evening, you might find that your coffee comes with a side of live entertainment, as Bob’s features a little stage in back that showcases big talent. Bob has lots of friends, so you never know who might perform–like stand-up legend Bill Burr, who recently did a set.
Fridays are open mic nights, so rally the troops and get ready to laugh. You can even overcome your stage fright by jumping on stage and trying out some material. Hopefully your friends will be gentle when it comes to feedback. After all, cultivating creativity and support is what Bob’s Espresso Bar is all about. It’s fun to feel part of the community.
Photo by Christopher Cornelius