Stylishly situated on a central corner of the neighborhood is Lofty Coffee Co.’s handsome new coffee bar and all day eatery, which officially opens to the public this Thursday, February 9. Owners/developers Brendan Foote of Fabric Investments and Creative House’s Douglas Hamm had been searching for an ideal tenant to activate the space, a former union hall at the juncture of Cedar and Columbia Street, and found it in the well-regarded local roaster, which currently runs three locations just a stones throw from one another in North County.
Lofty Coffee Co.’s just-completed 1,400-square-foot open-air structure sits on a 2,500-square-foot lot, which features 85 seats at sidewalk tables and on a heated outdoor dining patio. A custom-built coffee bar has been installed with top-of-the-line brewing equipment for the full range of espresso, coffee and tea drinks and a tap system that will pour several kinds of cold brew and iced tea. A new offering at this location, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on week days and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, is a rare auction lot of high end coffee, sourced from Panama’s Hacienda La Esmerelda, that will go for a stiff $15 a cup.
Lofty will continue to roast its coffee in Encinitas, but make and bake all its menu items, which range from organic eggs with poached eggs to housemade granola and yogurt for breakfast to all-day dishes like salads and panini. The cafe is particularly known for its from-scratch pastries, including chocolate croissants, lemon poppy seed cookies, banana nut muffins and chai-spiced butternut squash cake with bourbon caramel glaze.
Lofty Coffee Co. owner Eric Meyers says the company does not currently have plans to venture into the wholesale business, though they may soon start distributing their cold brew. Calling the Little Italy location a “test run” in a more urban market, Meyers tells Eater that more locations may likely be in the works.