Los Angeles has a cool new LGBTQ venue to head to for coffee and food. The Liberation Coffee House has opened at 6725 Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s part of the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center, with proceeds from the café going directly back to helping the center continue its work.
The 1,600-square-foot store opened last week. Because of the COVID pandemic, the café is currently open for takeaway only, but once it’s allowed to do so, it will welcome guests to sit inside. For the time being, the team has installed a plexiglass screen on the service counter, and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
“We want to showcase the space and have people see it as opposed to just serving them at the door,” said Center Manager of Café and Catering Erin Muscatelli to LGBT News Now.
The team is selling a range of locally-sourced coffee, tea, and freshly-made sandwiches, cookies, and pastries.
The café is located at the center’s flagship Anita May Rosenstein Campus. It on the site of the Center’s first ‘Liberation House’. Opened in 1971, this was the first hostel in the U.S. offering accommodation specifically for LGBTQ youth.
Staff working in the café have been drawn from the Center’s intergenerational Culinary Arts program. This is a three-month training program launched in 2019 to prepare the Center’s LGBTQ youth and seniors for employment in the hospitality industries.
“It’s all been very intentional—from our partners and the products we’re serving to the design of the space and staff that we’re hiring—to foster pride, passion, and warmth in this community-driven space,” Muscatelli told Time Out. “It’s a really good way to introduce the Center to the outside community who might not know a lot about us.”
Once it’s able to do so, the café will become a site for exhibitions, events, and lectures – besides being a culinary hot spot.
Liberation Coffee House is currently open for takeaway, 7.30 am to 2.30 pm Monday to Friday.