Hi Neighbors and happy birthday to the “Grand Avenue, West of 580” blog, turning 2 years old at the end of June. Thank you for your readership and occasional comments. As promised last month, this summer I am providing updates on the progress of plans previously noted, other changes on Grand Ave., west of 580, and activities at Lake Merritt. – LZ.
Two years ago this blog opened with a story about what was then the Grand Lake Coffeehouse (440 Grand Ave., corner of Bellevue). Following some ownership shifts last fall, the place transformed into the Perch Coffeehouse with a new look, new staff, new features, and a menu that is still evolving. Today the bright yellow awning heralds the cheery changes.
Malichi Davis, the new manager who joined the team in November, says “Perch is in transition responding to changes in the neighborhood. We want to be THE neighborhood café for the Lake Merritt and Adams Point neighborhood.” Perch’s Facebook page announces “Perch is a cafe/gallery/children’s creative space by day and an event space by night.”
Today, blonde wood panels and bright white paint adorn the walls, along with watercolor paintings by Audra Bauchera. Perch has vibrantly reached out to young families in the neighborhood by including a child’s menu and adding a bright play area (with spontaneous play date potential) adjacent to the main seating area. It is furnished with creative playthings for youngsters to enjoy. When I visited the coffeehouse recently, a little girl was gleefully running back and forth, gathering blocks and building a house on top of a red table while Mom maintained a relaxed but watchful eye.
Customers at Perch are as diverse as our community. Many young hipsters sit at tables concentrating on their screens. Other neighbors prefer to “perch” at the counters facing the windows or at the central counter watching the barista, Kindre, create their Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich or “Wake Up!Smoothie” (strawberry, blueberry, honey and oats). Tea beverages rely on leaves from tea importer, Blue Willow located in Berkeley, while Perch’s coffee is roasted in Oakland by Proyecto Diaz. As the weather finally begins to warm up, Malichi notes that many are loving Perch’s iced coffee.
The menu at Perch Coffeehouse also continues to evolve. Malichi notes that breakfast choices are expanding, based on customers’ requests. One recent addition: Belgian waffles heaped with berries! Drop in and share your opinion.
Weekdays 7:30 AM – 5 PM
Weekends 8 AM – 5 PM
Kitchen closes at 3:00 PM
Breakfast served until 11 AM