Photos by Brian Addison.
We had expressed sadness about the possible demolition of the Koffee Pot building at 4th & Alamitos last year, hoping that the Council’s move to restore the Mills Act would help the project along.
Well, smile a bit broader because the Koffee Pot Cafe (also known as the Hot Cha Cafe) is set to be restored to its former glory.
Even better? We Are the Next, the Long Beach history-loving nonprofit and gurus behind moving an old train depot to saving the original Taco Bell location, will be acting as the construction manager and preservation consultant on the rehabilitation, scheduled for completion in early 2016.
“We started working with the Koffee Pot Cafe earlier this year when our team guided the current owners through the City of Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission application process,” said Katie Rispoli, Executive Director and founder of We Are the Next. “With approval in-hand, the property owners will be rehabilitating the exterior of the building, bringing it back to its former glory.”
The building at 957 E. 4th Street has been the home to many businesses and has a storied history since it’s completion in 1932. Originally called Hot Cha, its architect is unknown but the building represents the last surviving example of what is known as “programmatic” or theme architecture in the city of Long Beach. Other examples in the Los Angeles area include North Hollywood’s 72-year-old Barrel Cafe and East LA’s The Tamale building.
Originally home to a coffeeshop, the octagonal structure has also embodied many other things, from a barber shop in the 1980s to its last home as a medical marijuana dispensary.