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Coffee & Tea 8

Monkey Forest Road (coffee bar on Grand Ave. in Oakland)

abstractpoet | Dec 9, 201111:30 AM

This is the new upscale coffee bar / gallery that's directly across the street from Boot and Shoe (in the space that used to be a blinds store, I believe). They just opened this week.

I had a Verve cappuccino (a holiday blend) and orange-cranberry scone, baked in-house -- both were pretty tasty and priced similarly to other boutique coffee shops (I think the capp was $3.25).

On the other hand, not to be a pessimist, but the way the business is set up seems like a great way to flush several million dollars down the toilet. The space is huge and airy and beautiful (completely rebuilt) in a Zen-minimalist way. 90% of the space is dedicated to displaying really expensive furniture and art, with an emphasis on Southeast Asia (Bali, specifically) -- beautiful benches for sale for several thousands of dollars, etc.

The "coffee bar" side of the business should generate some revenue, but as of now there's absolutely no seating indoors -- the only place to sit is along a counter facing the street in a sort of enclosed outdoor space. Lovely place to sit on a sunny day, but again, there's only room for three or four people. I think there some other chairs in that front patio area, but no tables as of yet.

I don't know -- just not sure the high-end furniture/art (the main focus of the business, it seems) will take off in this neighborhood, in this economy. But it is a lovely space.

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