David Mendez

Catalina Coffee closes its doors

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Catalina Coffee Company closed its doors on Monday, after 16 years in business. Photo by David Mendez

by David Mendez

Catalina Coffee Shop, a neighborhood gathering spot in Redondo Beach for nearly 20 years,  closed its doors for good on Monday. And as it did, the weather turned with it.

“The rain opened up the day we closed,” owner Jeff Sallee said. Sallee opened Catalina with his mother, Ellen Brown, in 2001.

Intermittent shutdowns over the summer, Sallee said, spurred the closure. A lengthy electrical vault replacement project by Southern California Edison crept onto Catalina’s parking lot and blocked the neighboring sidewalk, discouraging customers and changing shop hours.

The property has received a lot of attention, from buyers, Realtors and prospective tenants since the closure, said Alex Smith, of Smith Properties.

“We’re happy to have Catalina Coffee. People like it, have intimate relationships and regular conversations there. It’s a disappointment they’re leaving,” Smith said.

Catalina Coffee Company will be remembered as much for its living room atmosphere as it was its coffee, which was roasted on site.

“It felt like Cheers. We knew the majority of our regulars’ orders before they got to the counter,” Sallee said. “That kind of hand-in-glove comfort was terrific…we were part of the fiber of the community. That’s what I loved most and what I’ll miss most.”

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