El Sereno coffee house plans to reopen after car comes crashing through front door

Entrance to Holy Grounds remains boarded up

Entrance to Holy Grounds remains boarded up


EL SERENO — A popular coffee house that  has been closed since late October after a car slammed into the storefront plans to open early next year after extensive damage is repaired and other improvements are made.

Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea in the 5300 block of Alhambra Avenue sustained major damage when a driver crashed through the entrance gate and French doors on the evening of Oct. 29. The cafe was closed when the crash took place, and no one was hurt.

There was an outpouring of sadness and support from Holy Grounds’ devoted patrons on social media. Many sent well wishes and hoped the cafe would come back better than before. That’s exactly what owner Steven Boland and the team at Holy Grounds decided to do.

“We will have to repair the front entrance wall, adding new doors, windows, as well as a few updates to the entire cafe itself,” said Jessica Arevalo, an employee at Holy Grounds, in an email. “The changes we are making will give our shop a more spacious floor plan for our guests to enjoy.”

Plans include the addition of a refrigerated pastry shelf to offer a bigger and healthier variety of pastries and snacks, and a few aesthetic changes as well. Arevalo said additional updates will be revealed on opening day.

Most of the damage was covered by insurance, but Boland, who opened Holy Grounds in 2012, set up a GoFundMe campaign shortly after the accident to raise money for additional updates to the coffee shop that wouldn’t be covered by insurance, including the new pastry shelf. So far, they have raised $1,500 of their $20,000 goal.

“We believe the funding is going great considering we aren’t advertising it highly,” said Arevalo. “We actually created the GoFundMe because so many of our customers asked for it and wanted to donate whatever they could.”

They plan to open their doors again in February 2017. Arevalo blames the lag in reopening on permits and construction timelines.

Although Holy Grounds isn’t serving up its usual cinnamon coffee and guava cheese pastries daily, they still hold open mics and comedy shows every Thursday and are renting out the patio for holiday parties.

“[We] hope to once again give you all an enjoyable space that serves a great cup of coffee and amazing community events,” said Arevalo.

Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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One comment

  1. That’s great to hear. Love the place, and I wish them well for the new year!

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