3752 Park Blvd., near Robinson
San Diego, CA 92103
Raise your cup today, Sept. 29, to coffee! For some reason this date was selected to celebrate America’s favorite hot beverage. (I’d say “beverage”, but that claim might belong to beer.) If you missed your chance on Sept. 29 you have another chance on Oct. 1, which is International Coffee Day. The international day even has a website (www.internationalcoffeeday.org) with a search option for Coffee Day celebrations in your area. None were in San Diego so I chose Refill to celebrate today. Why Refill? Truthfully, it was the building that drew me…see for yourself at http://sdlofts.com/. Refill is at street level of this intriguing Jonathan Segal apartment building. Why that name? Not Refill, but Mr. Robinson…I’m guessing because it’s on the corner of Park & Robinson, although I would have preferred Mrs. Robinson.
So let me get back to the important topic of the day: coffee! Their coffee is roasted by Bird Rock Coffee Roasters (http://birdrockcoffee.com/), a San Diego roaster known for responsibly sourced organic & fair trade certified coffee. I enjoyed a cup of Ugandan cold brew. I was originally drawn to their Ethiopian coffee for the promise of a hint of cardamom, but the barista let me try both & that swayed me to the stronger Ugandan. I was also tempted to try an affogato, Italian for drowned, which is a scoop of ice cream drowning in a shot of expresso. But I felt the cold brew gave me more of a coffee taste on this National Coffee Day. Affogato, you’ll be next…
Given the modern building I was not surprised to see their tables & chairs have a Scandinavian look. Their mugs were a surprise, though. I was told they were made (“thrown” I think is the proper word) by Steve Cook, the owner’s high school pottery teacher. I can’t get over how special that is to have every single mug made by hand. It’s extremely rare, actually. The next time you finish a cup of coffee flip it over & I’ll bet it was made (not “thrown”) in China, Thailand, or any number of countries other than the United States. This business was developed with lots of thought & TLC from friends.
Parking will be your biggest challenge. Bring quarters for meters on Park Blvd. or there’s a pay-to-park lot across the street. Centre St., parallel to Park Blvd. one block west, should give you some free options. But it’s worth the extra effort (or the extra parking fee). Head over between 6:00am & 9:00pm daily. And go hungry for their crepes, sweet or savory. The name Refill implies free refills, but they told me they come at a price of $1.08 only for select coffees. Alas, there are no free refills at coffee specialty shops, anymore.
If you missed Sept. 29 & Oct. 1, check this list of other coffee dates celebrated around the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Coffee_Day (scroll down to History where you’ll find dates starting with April 14 when it’s celebrated in Portugal).