When I caught wind that there was a new specialty coffee shop opening up in Santa Monica, I was only marginally interested. When I was told they’d be serving Oregon’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, this new cafe became an instant destination. Primo Passo Coffee Company has only been open a couple of weeks, but with a little more work in terms of atmosphere and accessibility, they have the potential to become the premier specialty coffee purveyors for Santa Monica.
After a weekend of torrential downpours, the skies began to clear as we found a parking space right in front of Primo Passo. Once we walked through the door, it was clear that this new shop was following in the hipster coffee trend of minimalist-chic design with an industrial meets vintage edge. While this style of coffee shop may seem a tad overdone, Primo Passo was flooded with light and its bright white walls and tall ceilings made for a light and airy space. The first thing that I noticed about this place was its lack of tables. A few metal chairs lined up a small portion of the front area before you hit the coffee bar while a long wooden communal table (standing room only) took up most of the back area. For wi-fi users, I was surprised to see that there were over a dozen accessible electrical outlets, although the general atmosphere does not have that camp out with a large coffee to answer e-mails kind of vibe.
Coffee-wise, these guys pass the test. While they still don’t rank in my most favorite Westside coffee establishments, it’s apparent that they’re really into coffee and have a high value for quality. There are still a few improvements to be made, especially in consistency and skill, but they’ve got a solid foundation. I’d take a trip to Primo Passo over Caffe Luxxe a couple blocks away for a quick caffeine jolt any day.
Primo Passo Coffee Company is located at 702 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.