BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:Coffee shop mixes it up

An artsy coffee shop is brewing up plans to "Revo-lutionize" the image of quaint and quiet Adams Square. But it is not nearby residents' cup of tea.

Revo Art and Jazz Café reopened in early January after about two months of renovations. The changes are no revolution for Revo, but they might be for Adams Square, a small commercial district at the foot of Adams Hill in south Glendale.

"The last one was just straight coffee shop — art and jazz café," said Aram Manoukian, owner of the Revo café. "Now we have renovated to a restaurant and we have a full bar. It's like an art and jazz bar."

But some residents aren't thrilled with the changes.

Michael Teahan, president of the Adams Hill Homeowners Assn., said Manoukian's heart is in the right place, but the owner should have consulted homeowners before going through with the project.

"He had an opportunity to find out what the neighborhood would want, but didn't contact us," Teahan said.

The renovations — which include doubling its size, adding a full bar and installing a sound system for live jazz — do not change the essence of the old coffee shop, Manoukian said. Revo is still a quiet coffee shop for the artistic- and musical-minded, Manoukian said, but now it is bigger and serves alcohol.

Unlike Teahan, businesses welcome the change of pace in the shopping park, said John Cianfrini, president of the Adams Square Merchants Assn. and resident of the area for 40 years.

"I just want to see it prosper because if it grows then it will draw people to Adams Square," Cianfrini said.

Mike Schneider, 33, who lives a few blocks from Revo, was a regular guest at the old version of the coffee shop. He said a family-oriented café was a better fit for the neighborhood.

"I'm very disappointed," Schneider said. "It was nice having a neighborhood coffee shop."

But Manoukian is calmly pursuing his vision. He plans to have a grand opening sometime in May, when the weather is better. He also plans to expand his hours in the summer to 8 a.m. to midnight. Right now, the café is open from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Manoukian, who visited the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, with his father several times as a child, feels his bar will be a positive change for the neighborhood. He learned a lot from artists and creative minds when he was young, so he wants the younger generations to have the same experience, he said.

"The artists, musicians and producers — you can learn something from them in your life — how to respect other people, how to be gentle," Manoukian said.

Revo Art and Jazz Café is at 1022 E. Chevy Chase Drive. For information, call (818) 549-0809.


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