In a fancy New York Times article, fast food revolutionary Locol has announced its anti-fancy coffee thesis: $1 cups of coffee via its partner business, Yes Plz. Though a coffee company has been in the works for some time, its debut closely follows the opening of Oakland’s Locol Bakery, a small footprint spot with an emphasis on coffee, and to-go items.
The past year has been filled with a somewhat strategic series of questions and answers for the Locol team, whose outward facing team is comprised of chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi. Last week California Sunday published an extensive piece on Patterson, who divulged that Locol has not been making money, and questioned the decision of NYT critic Pete Wells to “fly 3,000 miles to go apeshit on a five-dollar burger?” The bright future of Locol, while technically no less dim, seemed ready for a new direction.
Tony Konecny, also known as “Tonx” and co-founder of LA’s Tonx Coffee, is the coffee boss collaborating with Patterson and Choi, who’ve striven to bring good coffee out of the luxury zone and into the commodity zone for the neighborhoods it serves. The coffee is available at Locol’s first location in Watts as well as its two Oakland locations, for $1 ($1.50 with cream and sugar). Other options include: hot, or cold.
It’s this “cheerful lack of ceremony,” and lack of detailed producer lists that sets both Locol and Yes Plz apart, though fellow specialty roasters like Verve’s Colby Barr who supports the endeavor, still argue that it makes sense to charge more for something that requires more time and care to produce.
Locol and Yes Plz’s expansion plans include opening coffee windows and stand-alone shops, while supplying its three locations, reports the New York Times. Locol Bakery is primed for expansion with its small footprint, too. Seems like bunz and coffee might be the path to Locol’s future success, though the cheeseburger has undergone some upgrades since Wells wrote his scathing review.