Eastside Property: Hermon gets a second chance for a corner cafe

Former Cycleway Cafe in Hermon/LoopNet

With much of Hermon’s shops and restaurants located in a shopping center, the opening of the Cycleway Cafe in 2008 in a corner storefront injected some vitality into the tiny neighborhood’s street scene.  But Cycleway – named after a bike track  –  did not last long, closing in early 2010. Now, however, the same building is up for lease.

The LoopNet listing describes the 1,000-square-foot, free-standing building  at the corner of Monterey Road and Redfield Avenue as being located in the “Hermon district of Highland Park,” which is sure to rankle Hermon activists.  What can you do with this space?  The listing provides some ideas:

The perfect corner cafe, coffee bar, gallery, or retail store space. Filled with natural light, this space features exposed beam ceilings, large windows, and an inviting storefront.

The landlord is asking $2,250 a month in rent.   How many coffees and muffins need to be sold to cover that rent and sustain a business?

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  1. This is a great little corner establishment. I knew the coffee shop idea would not last as it is in the wrong community for a coffee shop.

  2. Roughly 22,500 cups of coffee a month.

    Based on a 16 oz. cup of coffee at
    $1.85, the costs break down like this:

    $0.64 for the coffee itself

    $0.13 for the cup

    $0.03 for the lid

    $0.04 for cream and sugar


    $0.84 for what the barrista hands you. But what if you add in all the
    unseen costs of simply being in the business of selling coffee? Then you
    have to add in these additional costs:

    $0.33 for the labor

    $0.11 for the lease on the land

    $0.04 for utilities

    $0.05 for advertising and marketing

    $0.03 for research

    $0.22 for general administration

    $0.13 for taxes, interest, etc…


    $0.91 in intangibles are then added to cover the cost of production.

    So of your $1.85 cup of coffee, $1.75 is simply the cost needed for a
    retailer to break even.

  3. The problem with this site is the lack of parking space which relegates it to being a neighborhood walk in place. Hermon alone, being that it is so small, probably cannot sustain a business in a space with a lease that high. Fresco has a nice cafe and ample parking. I think the owner will have to drop the rent or the site is going to sit vacant or have a constant turnover of tenants.

  4. Never got around to giving Zosa Cafe a try. It is a poor location for a coffee shop.

  5. It’s a cute space but a tricky location. There’s not a lot of foot traffic or commercial activity on that part of Monterey. And with Fresco only 4 blocks away, it’s hard to compete.

  6. I remember when this location had a perfectly good little local market.

  7. Greedy landlord. Particularly given the challenges that previous businesses have faced at this location, that rent is ridiculous. Not the kind of situation that allows for a local business to have a chance at survival.

  8. I almost bought a place about 6 blocks away and spent many hours hanging out right around there — actually right around the same time this property was last being sold.

    There is essentially no foot traffic and the area hasn’t gentrified enough to support anything like $2,200/month. Unfortunately, the best play would still be to open a liquor/convenience store in that spot, even with the community market 2 blocks away.

  9. Just a little correction – it’s at the corner of Monterey and Redfield (not Kendall). If the attached property on Redfield, now a home, was replaced with a parking lot there could probably be 6 spaces. I think it would be a great breakfast/lunch café – and there would be no competition with that anywhere close. It could also be a realtors office, a place for an after-school tutorial program, or a stop-in LAPD location. There are still many possibilities.

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