Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Espresso Bar

Following Petrea's (Pasadenadailyphoto) theme of Coffee Houses in the Pasadena area, I though I would post one of the best java joints from the past, The Espresso Bar.

The "E-Bar" is gone now and is currently occupied by a high-rent store. At the time (late 70s and early 80s) there was virtually no parking. One usually parked along Raymond Ave, which in those days was pretty risky. You entered through a dimly-lit alley, turned right at the railroad tracks and through a patio, past the tarot card reader to the front door.

Inside, an eclectic display of furniture, paintings and artifacts littered the room. A real wood-burning fireplace kept patrons warm as they lounged in thriftshop quality easy chairs.

When "Sam" wasn't playing the out-of-tuned upright piano, an antique jukebox spun 45s in the corner. The coffee and the espresso was fantastic. In fact, the old building reeked of premium coffee grinds. Each week--I think Thursdays--they had "Espresso Yourself Night," which was basically an open mic for musicians, poets and story tellers.

Ok, I just found a tribute website (click here) for more on the Espresso Bar.


Loren said...

Popped over here from Petrea's blog. I remember going and seeing The Rubber Band playing in and outside the E-Bar in the alley, probably somewhere around 1989-90. Good times, way before McStarbucks became ubiquitous.

Petrea said...

This is great. The website's fantastic. What a find! Where was the E bar? I'd love to go photograph what's there now and maybe email you the shot so you can post it with this. Can you direct me? It would be great to find out if that Batchelder fountain is still there.

altadenahiker said...

I would feel right at home here. (Really like that playful couple shot as well.)

JT said...

The address is 34 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, one block south of Colorado Blvd. I went back about ten years ago and was disappointing to find the bar gone, replaced with a store. At least we have photos, memories and few friends who also remember the E-Bar!