LOIT: Bet on Black
AC/DC screamed about being back in it, Picasso used it’s boldness to create the notorious Guernica, and Jay Z embraces it from his cap to his kicks to his “black cards, black cars, all black everything.” Amidst the hustle and bustle of South Park on Olympic and Hill, this powerful monochrome aesthetic syndicates with sought-after coffee in an unassuming yet meticulous form. The result is an environment equally smooth as a paintbrush coated in black running down a bright white canvas — this is LOIT Cafe, this is art.
For many downtown dwellers, sanctuary is a vital ingredient for an active mind when working remotely. Arrive at LOIT Café to discover the kind of open-air atmosphere of a design gallery, built for a creative conscious that relishes sharp and simple components. Black and white marbled tables are paired with leather chairs offering sleek and smooth comfort. The valiant aesthetic doesn’t just run through the eclectic space, but all the way down to each bean. Under a line of industrial light are the artists of this coffee operation, orchestrated by a name highly recognized within the coffee culture scene, Luke Jung. Luke, chic and polished from head to toe, takes in the view through a large glass plane window of LOIT’s other half, a design/lifestyle fashion retail for men and women, “Fashion and coffee is culture, they harmonize so well together.”
If coffee is indeed so connected to fashion, then LOIT’s caffeinated runway showcase would no-doubt be headlined by the shops signature, you guessed it — black coffee. No, not the kind your grandfather would order at the local greasy spoon, these are charcoal infused creations holding an appearance that will shift any preconceived notion you’ve ever had about coffee. Manager Semi Choi is fulfilled with the result that “looks good visually but tastes even better. The most important thing is the taste.” The Black LOIT latte, made with condensed milk arrives deep in charcoal black, an appearance almost too brilliant to drink. The Black Line, made with vanilla looks like the inventive jolt Darth Vader himself would indulge in while glaring out from the death star — to get to the point — this coffee is cool, artistic and very bad ass.
It’s very clear there are two key components propelling LOIT’s inventive coffee operation in Downtown’s sought after scene — knowledge and practice. And like all artists or designers do, add in a double shot of courage to take risks and try something new. Semi grins at the filled chairs “We wanted to build a workplace for the community.”
Immersed in LOIT Cafe it seems appropriate to reflect on another monochrome relic, Steven Steigman’s infamous photograph of a suited man in black sunglasses sitting in a Le Corbusier chair, being propelled back by the tremendous sound from a speaker in front of him. The speaker in this case is LOIT Cafe, blowing away guests with its tremendous volume of art, fashion and coffee.
Written by Travis Platt | Photography by GL Askew II