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Saturday, August 29, 2015


A trio of successful San Diego area coffee roasters opted for leading restaurant designer, Paul Basile to design and fabricate the roasting firm's first retail outlet in downtown San Diego.
Westbean images: Mike Newton Photography
Coffee houses—at least in San Diego—fall into two design genres.  There are the funky places like La Jolla’s Pannikin; South Park’s Rebecca’s and Claire De Lune in North Park, where you can bask in the ‘60s along with the aroma of good coffee.  The other style is the sophisticated Euro-influenced design of coffee houses like Influx and Holsom in North Park.

Both styles are thriving in San Diego.

But does design make for a fabulous cup of coffee?  Is it the magician or the wand? Coffee house design generally reflects the vision of the owner(s).  Design is also influenced by the location. 

One case in point:

Recently a trio of coffee roasters, who since 2009 operated out of a non-descript warehouse in the Mission Gorge area of Northeast San Diego, wanted to add a retail outlet to showcase WestBean’s growing reputation as up and coming coffee roasters.

Co-owners owners (left to right in photo): James Rauh, Andrew Karr and Paul Reizen sought a stylish look to the site they chose in downtown San Diego.

For that they picked Paul Basile, one of the hottest restaurant designers in the country to design and fabricate a 700 s.f. coffee house at 240 Broadway in the Westgate Hotel complex.  Already, he is a restaurant design legend in San Diego barely into his 40s. 

Much of Basile’s signature café/restaurant design mantra went into the new The WestBean location.  There he blended his metal working forte with elegant wood into a sleek minimalist décor.  Basile’s skill is in capturing stylish adventure in the most simple terms.

Now open, Basile’s The WestBean coffee emporium reminds me of modern Madrid and/or mid to lower Eastside Manhattan.  Stylish, yet one feels at home. 

Facing south, the site is only 700 s.f.

More on Basile.
Paul Basile
Basile’s firm hospitality division has created Craft & Commerce, Underbelly I & II, Acme Kitchen, Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant, Ironside Fish & Oyster and Polite Provisions.  Next Basile project will appear at 30th & University but so far owners are keeping the (shhh, hot dog & burger) concept under wraps.

The WestBean:

Basile Studio:

Basile Studio's signature usage of metal and wood in its award winning hospitality designs.

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