Last fall, Shine Coffee owners Laryn and Christiaan Blok expanded their coffee business from a retro-cool Airstream trailer to a walk-up java shop in a tiny, Colonial-style structure at 10 West Vernon Avenue (across from the Heard Museum light-rail stop on the north side of the street).
But with summer right around the corner, who wants a hot cup of coffee in the searing heat of the outdoors? Not to worry. Soon, the Bloks will be having folks over to their air-conditioned "Living Room" to enjoy a cup o' joe.
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Laryn Blok tells me they're renovating part of 14 West Vernon -- the building right next to Shine's walk-up coffee stand -- to be a seating area called the "Living Room." Hoping to be open sometime next month, Blok says the new space will include tables for working, sofas, Wi-Fi, and a restroom.
But the Bloks aren't stopping there. Soon, they'll be starting a Kickstarter campaign to ditch the concrete around their space and replace it with a "pocket park," a mini-park that landscape architect Kirby Hoyt designed for the neighborhood.
"This is not an outdoor patio, this is a real, honest-to-goodness urban green space for the businesses and residents in our area to enjoy," says Blok. "It's heavy on shade and very light on water use. Lots of desert adapted trees going in. It will be lovely and a great add to the city at large. We hope others will take a second look at the dirt lots hanging around and do something similar."