A new coffee shop has opened in West Oakland’s Dogtown neighborhood, an area that locals believe is ripe for more food and drink destinations, the wildly popular Brown Sugar Kitchen notwithstanding.
Kilovolt Coffee, at 1829 Mandela Parkway, is co-owned by Ethan Ashley, a self-trained electrician with a background in home remodeling. Ashley identified a gap in the market when he moved to the neighborhood in 2008 and couldn’t find a good cup of coffee, according to SF Weekly, which broke the news last month.
Kilovolt is located in the office part of a former steel equipment warehouse, and Ashley, who did much of the build-out himself, has run with the electricity theme for the décor, using old insulators from high voltage power lines as chandeliers, for instance.
The café is serving Sightglass coffee — Ashley trained as a barista at the cult San Francisco roasters, he told Bay Area Bites — and several local purveyors are supplying the food, including By C. Pastries, Baron Baking, and Metropolis Baking Company. Salads, juices and donuts are all on the cards.
Ashley chose the name Kilovolt because, he said, he thinks electricity is “the coolest.” It also happens to work well in conjunction with FuseBOX, the popular Korean fusion restaurant which also ventured into something of a food desert when it opened not far away on Magnolia Street, also in West Oakland.
Not everyone is thrilled with Kilovolt’s arrival, however. A week after they opened, someone scrawled the words “Eat Shit Yuppies” on the front of the coffee shop’s building. The owners took the incident in stride, however, promising free goods on their Instagram account to those who had their photo taken with the graffiti.
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