EDITOR’S DESK: What’s brewing on the Westside?

       “I've got to get my Starbucks.” Or… “Let's meet at Starbucks.” Or… “I was on my way to Starbucks and…”
       How many times have you heard comments like these?
       Nothing against the international coffee giant, but… Well, actually, we do have something against them, since the local outlet decided a couple of years ago that our paper was not important enough to include with their journalistic offerings. We always want to put our biases up front. The point is that people on the Westside - many of whom are justifiably concerned about the spread of corporate conglomerates but somehow turn a blind eye when it comes to caffeine - would do well for themselves and some plucky local business people if they start expanding their coffee horizons just a bit.
       In fact, at risk of trampling on newspapering's "fourth wall" (separation of news and advertising), I'm going to give you a list of excellent, independently owned Westside coffeehouse alternatives. Each offers coffee at least as good as the corporate joe, plus each has a uniquely pleasant decor, genial owners/baristas and (in certain cases) books and artworks:
       Cucuru, 2332 W. Colorado Ave. Owner: Guillermo Alvarado; Java Buddha, 2820 W. Colorado Ave. Owners: Jason Doedderlein and Will Waldron; My Daughter's Deli, 2514 W. Colorado Ave. Owners: Bob Bailey and Sharon Smith; Samba Brasil, 410G S. Eighth St. Owners: Rich and Luciana Alvarado.
       Others that could be named are Pikes Perk, in the Uintah Gardens shopping center - part of a city-wide chain; the La Baguettes, on West Colorado Avenue and North Chestnut Street; Agia Sophia, 2902 W. Colorado Ave., owned by the Westside's Orthodox Church; It's a Grind, in the Fillmore/Centennial shopping center, part of a smaller (though less aloof than you-know-who) national chain; High Rise Coffee Roasters 2421 W. Cucharras St., bulk-coffee importer/roaster, owned by Toby Anderson; and Coffee Fanatic, bulk-coffee importer, owned by Ivonne and Timothy Bass.
       So try some of these out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And if this means I'm partially responsible for costing Starbucks business, well, I'll try to live with the pain.

- K.J.