Carlos Antonio started his career selecting art and home furnishings for a roster of high-end interior design clients around Los Angeles. Five years ago, he took the plunge into opening Blackwood Coffee Bar, a boutique coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard filled with art and signature design touches like colorful mosaic walls.
Blackwood’s second location, recently opened on Santa Monica Boulevard near La Brea, takes Antonio’s sense of style even further with a dedicated gallery space. Opening during a pandemic almost didn’t happen. “It was touch and go for a while,” Antonio says. “We knew when people finally came back, it wouldn’t be the same.” So instead of a room of tables, he decided to devote part of the shop to a full-fledged gallery stocked with attainable art.
“Galleries can be intimidating,” says Antonio, who wants customers to be able to browse unique artwork as easily as they pick up a latte. On display now are L.A. artist Nick Biddle’s subtly colorful polyurethane resin sculptures and wall pieces, starting at an accessible $375.
Try an espresso or a macchiato to experience the full, smooth flavor of Blackwood’s proprietary blend, roasted each week at a Gardena facility. If a long workday is ahead, get a wake-up call with the Morning Wood with cold brew, cinnamon and extra espresso, or the Latin cold brew with house-made horchata and Aztec chocolate bitters. Special seasonal drinks like the rose honey cardamom latte also liven up the menu, which includes light breakfast and lunch dishes.
Later in the summer, Blackwood will add beer and wine along with tapas and charcuterie plates, giving WeHo a casual evening spot to check out up-and-coming artists and hang on the secluded patio — already a favorite of neighborhood pups.
Blackwood Coffee Bar, 7253B Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles