Named after the edgy, artsy Berlin neighborhood of the same name, Kreuzberg, CA has moved from a cozy 2,200-square- foot space on Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo to a 6,000-square-foot café on Higuera Street with a meeting room, mezzanine, two-story mural and alcohol on the menu.
The new Kreuzberg has not lost any charm in its move to the sprawling former home of Golden China at 685 Higuera St. —with upside-down thrift store lamps dangling from the ceiling and seating nooks in every corner.
A circular island bar is the central hub of this business, which now ranges between coffee shop, bar, used bookstore and art gallery.
“You see now what we wanted to do from the start,” co-owner James Whitaker said.
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Co-owners and previous college roommates Chris Tarcon and Whitaker explored Berlin by bike in early 2010, jotting down ideas from their favorite cafés there. And in November 2010, the pair took up a month-to-month lease in the former home of Muzio’s at 870 Monterey St. to test their concept.
Locals responded so positively that it was almost impossible to grab one of the café’s comfy couches. So Whitaker and Tarcon decided to commit to their full vision with a larger location.
With increased space comes increased costs, so the menu has been expanded to offer bigger-ticket items. Kreuzberg now offers beer, wine and an extensive food menu designed by local chef and Kreuzberg manager Grace Miller in addition to coffee, pastries and other beverages. Kreuzberg, CA now has 30 employees, compared to 13 at its previous location.
Whitaker declined to comment on the cost of the move, but said that he has been able to fund a portion of it privately.