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Tokyo-Style Vinyl Café Now Spinning in Sherman Heights

Caffeinate while listening to a curated soundtrack

Mario A. Cortez

Inspired by Tokyo’s record bars, Longplay Studio is now playing vinyl and pouring Japanese-style slow-brewed coffee in Sherman Heights. The listening and creative space is currently hosting visitors on an pop-up basis, with a temporary capacity of five guests at a time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Tucked away throughout Tokyo’s alleyways and commercial buildings, record bars are often intimate venues focused on playing curated vinyl collections on high-end audio equipment. The Imperial Avenue space looks to bring a Chicano vibe to the concept through its selection of sounds, artwork, and cross-border café program.

Coffee drinks include flash-chilled Chemex pour overs, cold brew, and a house take on the vanilla oat latte. These are made with a special blend crafted for the shop by Tijuana’s acclaimed La Stazione coffee roasters. Starting this October, the studio plans to showcase coffee by a featured roaster on a quarterly basis. A rotating selection of Tijuana-style burritos — which are quite slim compared to their SoCal taco shop counterparts and are filled with guisados, or stews — are available in vegan and non-vegan options. Coffee and burritos are available for takeout, with burritos prepared in limited batches.

With a conceptual focus on playing curated sounds, Longplay Studio spins records from its collection during business hours and also hosts live DJ set streams on Saturday mornings through its Twitch page. It’s currently operating on an RSVP basis from Thursday through Saturday. To RSVP visit @longplay.hifi on Instagram.

Mario A. Cortez

Longplay Studio

2547 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92102