The new Coffee Hub Cafe in Point Loma opened last Saturday amid a flurry of internet chatter, bike art and from the sounds of it the whirling whick-whick-whick of spokes spinning in the wind. I stopped by the Monday after Grand Opening for a cup of coffee to check out the new space.
On Shelter Island Dr in Point Loma the Coffee Hub Cafe is in an L-shaped center with a Thai food restaurant, Subway, Liquor Deli, Edward Jones and most importantly next door to sister restaurant, The Wine Pub. It isn’t really on the way to anywhere but is a relatively easy detour if coming from the beaches or downtown either by car or bike. By car would probably be harder just because of traffic getting from the major thorough-fares. Cyclists will likely be coming on the Harbor Drive path which is mostly off-road or Nimitz which has a well marked bike lane, though traffic travels at 50+ MPH and there are some merge lanes that will terrify even the most accomplished riders. With a little backroad rerouting and effort you’ll be able to roll up fairly safely from just about anywhere.
The undertones of CHC are soft grey and bright white. You’re greeted at the door with a woven Nantucket Bicycle Basket filled with menus and a wall holding a collection of Bike seats and cyclist caps. A vintage red Paulo Guerciotti bicycle hangs between them looking like some wiry, tattooed bike messenger should come flying through grabbing it off the wall and racing off into 1950s Italy. T-shirts, ball caps and mugs with the CHC logo or their tagline “Coffee Spoken Here” break up the collections. Straight ahead is the counter holding up assorted pastries and coffee accoutrements. A chalkboard coffee menu is mounted behind the registers. The counter and right (North) wall are done up in upcycled pallet wood. In between it all are simple light wood tabletops on metal frames, tall grey stools at the high-tops, and bright green & darker wood chairs at the low-tops with seats for 32 inside.
CHC isn’t breaking any new ground in the design, but it is clean and comfortable. The front windows let in a lot of morning sun and it feels homey. It’s unpretentious in it’s design without going too into the stereotype. The soft overhead lighting mimics a golden natural light, and classic rock music emits from a single wireless speaker. Inside there are a few outlets but not so many as to encourage a lot of plugging. There are several outdoor tables if you prefer the sun. Over the course of my visit I managed to move between three indoor and one outdoor table. My favorite being the far East table along the pallet wall that belies a sense of privacy with a wall to your left and angled ceiling overhead. It reminded me of the reading cubbies from elementary school.
The staff on this Monday morning was cheerful and personable. More than willing to chat, and wiling to answer a question or two. They seemed capable, and greeted everyone with a smile. Quality service, quality products and casual atmosphere are all good things.
So there is bike stuff on the wall, and a bike theme but is there a real bike cred or is it just marketing? Hard to say in one visit, however, while spending a morning here I ran into Andy, the Executive Director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition and Kate, the owner of Hub & Spoke. Kate had donated some bike frame art for charity to the CHC grand opening. If she approves that goes a long way! They had a big group bike ride to kick off their grand opening too. The most obvious concern as a cyclist is that there are no bike racks out front! Not yet anyway. Let’s hope that changes.
Coffee and drinks range from $2.25 for a drip coffee to $4.50 for a specialty latte, and top out at $5.00 for a kombucha. More than reasonable and comparable to most coffee shops around town. Maybe even a little cheaper if you’re going for the simple coffee route. A coffee refill will run you a $1.00. The coffee is roasted locally by Swell Roasters, and is pre-made and kept in push thermos.
The food menu is simple and smallish making for easy decision making but has a premium price tag on most items. While prices are going up everywhere with the recent raise in minimum wages, spending $10 for a breakfast on top of a coffee is a bit much to become a regular thing. The menu was fairly similar to other coffee shops in the area but with a bit higher price. There may be a higher quality of product but there was nothing to indicate that the food was from a local source or prepared in a certain fashion to justify the higher price.
A pretty good first impression. Good service goes a long way. We give the Coffee Hub Cafe 5 Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness, and are optimistic it will maintain or get even better. Pros: Good service, good coffee, good atmosphere. Cons: just an okay location (although great if you live nearby!), higher than average food prices and no bike rack out front (yet). Coffee Hub Cafe is starting with a good base, some quality supporters and what seems on first visit to be a pretty good coffee squad. We’ll be coming back and hopefully finding new, safer bike routes to the shop.
Coffee Hub Cycle.
2907 Shelter Island Dr. #107
Point Loma, CA
Open Monday – Friday 6:30AM – 2:00PM
Open Saturday – Sunday 7:00AM – 2:00PM
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