Get a look at Malibu Brew Coffee’s new home in Atascadero
Hugs and handshakes were in abundance on Thursday at Malibu Brew Coffee in Atascadero.
Paul and Lakhena Say greeted longtime customers for the first time in two months — welcoming them to their newly reopened coffeehouse across from Sunken Gardens.
“It feels so good to get back into the routine again,” Paul Say said with a smile.
The couple closed their original El Camino Real shop at the end of January in preparation for the incoming La Plaza mixed-use development.
The project will bring retail, office and residential spaces to a nearly 2-acre stretch of El Camino Real between Entrada Avenue and West Mall.
But Malibu Brew’s small, homey space had to be demolished to make way for the new development.
The Says initially considered moving into La Plaza once it was finished. But that option was too expensive, and the couple found a new spot in an East Mall building, just behind the Century 21 real estate office.
The shop is bright and airy, with multiple skylights and a design theme Say calls “rustic modern.”
A custom Malibu Brew mural painted by Savannah Arroyo covers one wall — Atascadero’s famous City Hall is at the top, with coffee and ice cream on either side. A patio in the front offers outdoor seating.
The new Malibu Brew features a similar menu, with one exception: the Says are bringing Doc Burnstein’s ice cream to Atascadero.
They’ll offer 16 flavors, and will likely start serving scoops starting this weekend. Milkshakes and sundaes might also be around the corner, Say said.
The couple quietly opened the shop on Wednesday, expecting only a few customers. But social media posts from customers quickly helped to draw a crowd.
“It was an amazing turnout for something we didn’t announce at all,” Say said. “The high school kids — they know. All it takes is one student.”
The space is across the street from their old location, but is still well-situated to attract students from nearby Atascadero Middle and High schools. Plus, the couple can take better advantage of potential customers visiting the nearby park for events.
On Thursday, during the school lunch break, a line of customers trailed out the door, Say said.
Around noon, a crew of bicyclists walked in, their clip-in shoes clicking on the shiny concrete floor. They gave Say a happy greeting and were excited to return to their regular spot.
“We made the right choice,” Say said of the move. “It’s a blessing in disguise.”