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Intelligentsia's Shiny New Apple

Posted on May 23, 2009 by

Waiting to enter the InelliVenice launch party, click for more pics from Tonx

Waiting to enter the IntelliVenice launch party. Click for more pics from Tonx

Intelligentsia just held a launch party for their newest store, located in Venice, CA.  My impression (from 3,000 miles away) is that this store has combined aspects of all that they hold dear in coffee with design features of a typical Apple Store.  No, they’re not repairing iPods.  But no longer do you file in one at a time, pay the cashier, and wait for your drink from the barista behind the counter.   Instead they have several stations equipped with espresso machines, and a brew bar featuring several brew methods.  Classes will be held for the advancement of consumer education, and every barista is equipped with a hand held payment device (which incidentally, operate using a Microsoft OS at the Mac stores).  Gone is the line of customers waiting to place their orders.  Customers will now enter the store, move towards the particular section they’re interested in, and be greeted by an Intelligentsia representative who will personally walk them through their entire visit to the store.  The division between two sides of a counter have been completely eliminated.

It remains to be seen how their implementation of a new cafe concept will pan out.  With no precedent to rely on, every hiccup they encounter will be the first of it’s kind.  But given the success they’ve always had in the past, this store will be no different.

If my impression (from 3,000 miles away) is wrong, or you have more information about the store, let me know in the comments below.

More information on the store is also available via the INTELLI(dot)LA blog, and

  • Dan

    Best coffee in LA

  • Andy Scherer

    Late to the comments party, but I can tell you that when I went there last month I *did* have to wait on a line – although it was with the fabulously hip of Venice so it was cool.

    Once I met my barista the experience was much indeed more interactive and the coffees (Black Cat shot and Clovered El Salvador Finca Malarca) rocked. I hang out, avoided the toys on the shelves (Silvias, Vac pots, Varios – like the Bed Bath & Beyond of my dreams) and enjoyed the general vibe. It’s a cool post-millenium concept that works really well. Wish I could have been there for one of the educational sessions.