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Communal's granola takes place of Rebecca's scones

South Park coffee turnover

Communal Coffee will serve drinks out of Shasta trailer
Communal Coffee will serve drinks out of Shasta trailer

When the new year began, South Park found itself trending downward in the coffee department. The end of 2017 brought with it the closing of longtime community hub, Rebecca’s Coffeehouse. For a quarter century, Rebecca’s scones, open-mic events, and charmingly shabby space stood as a fixture in the community. But as property values in the neighborhood have shot ever upward in the past 25 years, the owner of its building reportedly received offers for triple the rent Rebecca’s was paying and decided to end the coffee shop’s lease.

Along with the closing of the similarly beloved Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge in North Park two years back, the sort of spacious, upholstered, folk-music-and-poetry-styled coffeehouse is becoming a relic of the 20th Century.

But South Park will not have to wait long or look far for a preplacement. Two new specialty coffee shops are set to open in 2018, bringing relatively new but familiar brands to the neighborhood.

First up will be a second location for Communal Coffee, the North Park café recognizable to many as the Coffee + Flowers ship, due to the large painted sign fronting the building Communal shares with the florist, Native Poppy.

Slated to open March 13th, Communal will be taking over the 2000-square-foot vacant lot a half block south of the old Rebecca’s location (2221 Fern Street, South Park). Communal has converted a 1959 Shasta trailer to operate as an espresso bar, which will sit on the lot serving its regular lineup of coffees brewed with beans from Bay Area roaster Sightglass Coffee.

While the outdoor coffee shop won’t exactly replace Rebecca’s in the hearts and minds of many South Parkers, Communal founder Jen Byard lives in the neighborhood and has set out to build a community-friendly space. Equipped with flowers from Native Poppy, Communal is developing a garden-like space around a spacious patio. The lot is also being fashioned with a small stage for acoustic performances, speaking events, and movie nights.

In lieu of scones, Communal will offer granola bowls, toasts, and pastries, including bagels and donuts from North Park’s Nomad Donuts.

Communal’s opening will come just ahead of the spring rendition of seasonal neighborhood event, South Park Walkabout, on March 17th, where Byard plans to celebrate the opening with an open house featuring live performances and free coffee.

That Walkabout should also provide South Park’s first introduction to incoming coffee roaster Seven Seas Roasting Co.

Seven Seas currently serves coffee at weekly farmers’ markets in both Pacific Beach and North Park and sells beans online through its own website as well as Amazon.com. Owner Eric Dobbs reports Seven Seas is entering the design phase at a location just a few blocks south of the Communal location, also on Fern Street (1947 Fern St #4, South Park) and hopes to open the space to the public within the next six months.

Seven Seas will offer a different customer experience and signature drinks than Communal, and between the two Dobbs envisions South Park coming back to thrive as a coffee neighborhood. “The property values are rising,” he says, “and the coffee game is rising, too.”

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Communal Coffee will serve drinks out of Shasta trailer
Communal Coffee will serve drinks out of Shasta trailer

When the new year began, South Park found itself trending downward in the coffee department. The end of 2017 brought with it the closing of longtime community hub, Rebecca’s Coffeehouse. For a quarter century, Rebecca’s scones, open-mic events, and charmingly shabby space stood as a fixture in the community. But as property values in the neighborhood have shot ever upward in the past 25 years, the owner of its building reportedly received offers for triple the rent Rebecca’s was paying and decided to end the coffee shop’s lease.

Along with the closing of the similarly beloved Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge in North Park two years back, the sort of spacious, upholstered, folk-music-and-poetry-styled coffeehouse is becoming a relic of the 20th Century.

But South Park will not have to wait long or look far for a preplacement. Two new specialty coffee shops are set to open in 2018, bringing relatively new but familiar brands to the neighborhood.

First up will be a second location for Communal Coffee, the North Park café recognizable to many as the Coffee + Flowers ship, due to the large painted sign fronting the building Communal shares with the florist, Native Poppy.

Slated to open March 13th, Communal will be taking over the 2000-square-foot vacant lot a half block south of the old Rebecca’s location (2221 Fern Street, South Park). Communal has converted a 1959 Shasta trailer to operate as an espresso bar, which will sit on the lot serving its regular lineup of coffees brewed with beans from Bay Area roaster Sightglass Coffee.

While the outdoor coffee shop won’t exactly replace Rebecca’s in the hearts and minds of many South Parkers, Communal founder Jen Byard lives in the neighborhood and has set out to build a community-friendly space. Equipped with flowers from Native Poppy, Communal is developing a garden-like space around a spacious patio. The lot is also being fashioned with a small stage for acoustic performances, speaking events, and movie nights.

In lieu of scones, Communal will offer granola bowls, toasts, and pastries, including bagels and donuts from North Park’s Nomad Donuts.

Communal’s opening will come just ahead of the spring rendition of seasonal neighborhood event, South Park Walkabout, on March 17th, where Byard plans to celebrate the opening with an open house featuring live performances and free coffee.

That Walkabout should also provide South Park’s first introduction to incoming coffee roaster Seven Seas Roasting Co.

Seven Seas currently serves coffee at weekly farmers’ markets in both Pacific Beach and North Park and sells beans online through its own website as well as Amazon.com. Owner Eric Dobbs reports Seven Seas is entering the design phase at a location just a few blocks south of the Communal location, also on Fern Street (1947 Fern St #4, South Park) and hopes to open the space to the public within the next six months.

Seven Seas will offer a different customer experience and signature drinks than Communal, and between the two Dobbs envisions South Park coming back to thrive as a coffee neighborhood. “The property values are rising,” he says, “and the coffee game is rising, too.”

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1

Rebecca's scones tasted like sawdust and raisins. Best scones in town can be found at The Market Place on Fifth.

Sept. 13, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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