Altadena’s iconic Coffee Gallery on Lake Avenue has changed ownership after previous owner Julie Sandoval decided to move to another state and sell the building and the business. Bob Stane, who operates the entertainment venue at the back – The Coffee Gallery Backstage – is staying on.
The new owners of the Coffee Gallery are Jimmy and Irene Chen, who can often be seen on the premises.
Florante “Fly” Manglicmot, barista-turned-manager, said today the Chens are doing some renovation work which may take “a couple of months,” but after that, they’ll be relaunching with a new brand of coffee called Counter Culture, and lunch items will be expanded to feature made-to-order sandwiches, salads and daily soup specials.
Ice cream will be Fosselmans, Manglicmot said, and pastry offerings will be moved to an artisanal range.
Gallery Backstage proprietor Bob Stane said his venue will also benefit from some repainting and fixing up. Meantime, Stane expects to remain open to continue featuring his slate of eclectic music shows, as he has been doing seven nights a week since 1998.
Stane has been a well-known show promoter in the area since he started running Pasadena’s The Ice House in 1978.
When he and partner Ken Marshall retired, Stane started putting together shows for folk music groups in the Los Angeles area, and while looking for some rehearsal space, saw the Coffee Gallery, which Marshall originally owned. Marshall was using the backroom as storage space for ceramics.
“Performers play at Birdland in New York, then The Coffee Gallery, then Carnegie Hall, Europe, and back to The Coffee Gallery,” Stane said in a 2013 lecture.
The Coffee Gallery and the Coffee Gallery Backstage are located at 2029 Lake Avenue in Altadena.