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.