Pasadena's Zona Rosa Caffe Loses Lease, Set to Close in Days

Published : Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 6:34 AM

Zona Rosa Caffe, one of the best-known neighborhood coffee shops in Pasadena and beloved for presenting Latin American culture along with its delicious organic fair trade coffee, is preparing to close on Tuesday, November 26, after the owners lost their lease to the property.

Located at 15 S. El Molino Avenue in the Pasadena Playhouse District, Zona Rosa Caffe opened its doors in 1994 and for the past 25 years has been a regular meeting place for Pasadena residents and regular patrons coming from across Los Angeles County.

The owners announced on social media Tuesday that they will be closing shop.

“Please join us for this November in celebration of the past 25 years!” a post on Zona Rosa Caffe’s Facebook page said. “It all began with the idea of offering the best sourced organic coffees from Latin America and promoting Latin culture, music, art, events and giving back to the community. We are very proud of our achievements in the development of a neighborhood association, showcasing local music, art and hosting our Dia de los Muertos event.”

The post said Zona Rosa Caffe will continue its coffee-roasting operation and offer its line of organic Latin American coffee wholesale and online to all customers.

“Lastly, a BIG thanks to all our awesome staff that have been there for us everyday for the past 25 years. We will never forget your incredible support!” the post said.

Some locals are so upset they are pledging to avoid any new business replacing Zona Rosa in order to convince the landlord to consider terminating Zona’s lease.

Realtor Allie Altschuler’s online petition (online here) says “its patrons are loyal and heartbroken over the news of the cafe’s imminent closure as a result of having lost their lease.”

Zona Rosa Caffe’s name, which means “pink zone coffee” in Spanish, is taken from the traditional Latin American term that refers to the district within a town or city that’s the center of its nightlife. In Mexico City, Zona Rosa is a neighborhood that’s known for its shopping, nightlife, and an active foreign-community presence.

Zona Rosa Caffe has long been considered a legacy business in the Pasadena Playhouse District and has been getting mostly positive reviews from residents and visitors alike. The social media post about their closing was followed by comments expressing sadness for “a Pasadena classic” and a “long-time favorite” mom-and-pop” shop being lost, with some asking if there was anything they could do to help to keep the coffee shop where it is.

“All the great places are closing on this street,” one comment said. Another expressed sadness for Pasadena “losing one of its gems.”

In the announcement, Zona Rosa invited patrons to visit their website,, to stay connected.

“We want to thank the City of Pasadena Playhouse District Association, Pasadena Playhouse our wonderful community and all our fantastic customers! We will miss you all, but hope to return in the future,” the post said.

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