Ten years ago, our Intelligentsia Silver Lake Coffeebar opened it’s doors and helped shift the concept of what a coffeebar could offer the community around it, and what a single coffeebar could do for coffee nationwide. Almost immediately, nestled in Sunset Junction, Silver Lake Intelligentsia became a landmark of the Silver Lake neighborhood, with it’s iconic tile, buzzing patio, and constant line. But soon, word spread, and this ambitious new project from a young wing of this growing coffee company began to seep out past the borders of LA County.
Intelligentsia Silver Lake popularized a new bar flow concept, where you would order with the barista pulling shots who greets you immediately upon entering, and pay for your drink as it flowed down the line with you. The line then built on anticipation instead of backed up at the hand off plane, and with the airy design based around light wood panels, the now famous blue and white tile, and the open patio under the signature red arches, the new Silver Lake coffebar became the newest social hub for LA. Coffee wasn’t a task or an office or a drug: it was an event.
It’s hard to imagine that the magic of Intelligentsia Silver Lake’s success didn’t somehow shape in some way how modern coffeebars began to form. It grew to world renown all from it’s modest square footage and, along with a few other iconic coffeebars from that era in other cities, ushered in a new era where a coffeebar could be the cool, bustling, loud social mecca of a city.
It only seemed right, then, to celebrate those ten years properly. On August 17th, 2017, Intelligentsia Silver Lake threw open its doors to customers, friends, neighbors, employees, and those who had helped build it into what it is today with an all out tenth anniversary party. There was amazing food from Demly Pupusas, and our friends from Eagle Rock Brewery and Silver Lake wines helped bring the party vibe forward. To cap it all off, co-founder of longtime Intelligentsia LA friends Stones Throw Records Peanut Butter Wolf himself ran a DJ set on the cleared out patio that drew in people off the street.
It was the perfect way to celebrate the success of the store and really enjoy the recently remodeled space, which had undergone a facelift in 2016 to help with some bar flow and under the hood improvements. Being able to say “thanks” to everyone who had helped put the store together and “thanks” to everyone who comes into the store every day at the same time over a glass of wine, a beer, music and a pupusa was absolutely the only way to really explore the history and future of Intelligentsia Silver Lake.