Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sidewalk Cafe HTS

A while back--a long while back--I went on a quest to find the perfect coffee shop. It didn't have to be perfect for everyone, it just had to be perfect for me.

I've never quite given up on finding the right spot. I wanted a place where, number one, the coffee was good. Numbers two through ten or so were items such as comfortable chairs, tables the right height for my laptop, easy parking and, most important, peace and quiet. (Music was okay, but not too loud.)

I found all kinds of places with some but not all of my criteria. Usually, the problem was noise. I wanted a place to read and write. Some people want to socialize, and that's fine. Most small business owners don't consult me when they write their business plan. But does blaring, loud music draw you into a restaurant or coffee shop?

The Sidewalk Cafe at Hens Teeth Square has everything I like. Look at that comfy chair! That natural light! That iced latte! That sticky bun, that...that wasn't mine. There's music, but it's not invasive. Art is by local artists (current works are by Stephen Baldry). This cafe loves its neighborhood and its town.

The Sidewalk Cafe has one problem. The people there are too friendly. How am I supposed to get my work done when everyone's so nice?

19 comments:

Katie said...

What an amazingly inviting coffee shop. Yes I was drooling over the sticky bun (I'm a sucker for good pastries), but I love the chair and art and big window. Sidewalk Cafe looks like a winner!

altadenahiker said...

I didn't even know about it until a couple of weeks ago. Great place, and to sweeten the pot, WIFI.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's a winner in my book, Katie. Very neighborhoody.

A neighbor told me about it, Karin. We really needed this in northwest Pasadena. When I was there the other day one of the partners told me they've been there a year. I like it because it's not fancy, it's not a chain, it's cozy and folks are decent. And WIFI.

Bellis said...

Shhh, there'll be no comfy chair for you if we all know about it. Looks very inviting!

I've a theory that Starbucks has started playing discordant music to stop people staying too long. The one near PCC never has anywhere to sit as the kids are all doing their assignments.

Petrea Burchard said...

I haven't considered chains like Starbucks in my quest. In those I know of there isn't enough indoor seating, the music's too loud and they run the air conditioning too cold to be comfortable. I think that's company policy and I understand they don't want people staying too long, they want to move people through. But that's not the kind of place I want to patronize.
I do, however, visit the Starbucks at Fair Oaks and California occasionally because a friend from Burbank has to kill time there and it's a chance to visit with her. The employees have never tried to rush us out.

Desiree said...

Nothing quite like finding the perfect spot--Fox's backside was wonderful--10 years ago when the daughter-in-law started it.
Many a page I wrote, listening to kd lang's Drag album.

Petrea Burchard said...

I haven't been to Fox's. Has it changed? Should I go?

NixBlog said...

Now that looks like my kind of coffee shop! Would love to visit there and have a nice long coffee with a good book...

Susan Campisi said...

It's a warm and cozy spot. I discovered it after the windstorm. I'm not sure how, but they had electricity while everyone around them didn't.

TheChieftess said...

I just got back from a morning stop at "The Looney Bean" for a Hazlenut Latte and a Ham and Cheese Croissant!!! Yummmy!!!! I sat inside...(a bit to chilly to sit outside comfortably)...ate my croissant, drank my coffee and read to my heart's content...not quite enough comfy chairs, but I wasn't planning on staying for very long!!!

Where is Hen's Teeth Square??? And how in the world did the square get it's name??? I'm still rather partial to Jones Roaster on Raymond...but not as a spot to sit and enjoy...

Deb said...

Looks a great spot to do some reading or just relax and people watch.
This time of year my mission is to find the place serving the best teacakes - hot, tangy, toasted to perfection and just the right amount of butter. It takes a lot of research so I know how hard you worked to find this place....

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Nix! I'll bet you've got some great spots in Melbourne, too.

Susan, perhaps the wind gods decided to bless them simply because they deserved it.

Chieftess, Hens Teeth is at the northernmost end of Los Robles, where it meets Woodbury. And the name comes from an old saying, which goes something like "They have everything there, even hens' teeth!" (which are as common as bees' knees).
I like Jones Roasters a lot--you just can't beat that coffee. But it's not exactly a place for quiet contemplation.

Deb, you understand my suffering. Yours sounds dire as well. I'm sorry you have to test all those teacakes.

Ms M said...

Looks like an inviting place. You find so many good places!

Petrea Burchard said...

Ha! I find bad ones too, Ms. M, but I generally don't blog about those.

Latino Heritage said...

Love this. The owner of Hensteeth is Jeannette Henderson; we've been friends for some years.
She and her husband Winston significantly renovated existing shops and set up new shops in the early to mid-80s, in part with RDA/CDBG monies. I'll send a bit more detailed history to you via email.
Regarding the name - I thought it was from a variation of your suggestion that i knew; turns out it was slightly different. According to J.H. "He spoke with Jeanette and wanted to include some portion of a saying from Louisiana – ' A women is as fine as frog’s hair and as rare as hen’s teeth'."

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks for the details, Roberta. I should clarify: I didn't mean to say I knew how the Hens Teeth owners named the place, but that the phrase "hens' teeth" comes from the old saying that something is as rare as hens' teeth.

TheChieftess said...

I agree about Jones Roaster's...great coffee, and interesting ambience...but not for quiet contemplation!!! Or a quiet conversation! I'll have to check out HTS next time I'm in the area!!!

Christina said...

I have driven by so many times, and wondered. Now, I need to go. It looks perfect.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's a nice little spot, Christina. Maybe I'll see you there.