The caffeination of North Figueroa Street is underway. After a long lead up that included lots of free coffee and even some pan dulce, Civil Coffee has finally, officially opened its doors. Founded by brothers Alex and Alan Morales with some consultation from Handsome Coffee’s Tyler Wells, the shop is now serving a strong daily brew, specialty drinks, and a light food menu.
“A coffee shop is always an anchor to a community. It is a place to congregate and talk, meet or simply get away from the house. To be that place in Highland Park on the Figueroa side, is a great and satisfying feeling,” says Alan. “This is an extension of our home to Alex and I, and it’s as if we get to host a constant get-together.”
Designed by Charisse Cardenas, a Highland Park resident, the long, narrow space features a high ceiling and artful details, like stone marble, walnut, Mexican tile, and exposed brick. The glassed-in storefront is lined with a bar while a few smaller tables are also available. With public work spaces a commodity in the neighborhood, it’s not surprising that many laptop-wielding patrons had already set up shop as of our 9:00 a.m. visit.
For the menu, the Moraleses partnered with local caterers Roomforty. Available from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily, options include quiche, a muesli parfait with berries, a few toasts (topping range from avocado to smoked salmon), and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There’s also a pastry cased stocked with the usual muffins and croissants, but also the ever-allusive kouign amann.
As for the coffee, Civil is sourcing from Coava Coffee and Heart Roasters (both of Portland). Espresso and milk are served hot or over ice—as is the chocolate milk made from bittersweet ganache syrup and milk—and they’re also serving up lesser known specialty items, like the One & One (two sots are split, one is served with steamed milk) and Tandem, which gets you a shot of their daily espresso and a select variety.
In the time that it’s taken to make their debut, the Moraleses have put in a lot of time getting to know their neighbors and feel that Highland Park is the right place for their venture. They say they’re doing their best to fit right in.
“In Highland Park, people know each other and there is a sense of ownership from the individuals in the neighborhood. That’s the pride we also have as assimilated members of this area,” says Alan.
Civil Coffee, 5629 N Figueroa St. Open 7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. daily.