About a year ago, the small Pearl St. General Store opened the “Seahorse” in salute to its 1946 predecessor, The Seahorse Bar, which was Laguna’s first gay bar. As you can probably imagine in the 1940s, the bar was a word-of-mouth-only speakeasy. Its counterpart today, however, is quickly becoming one of the more “off the map” lounges for people of all diversities and ages.

I’m planning to try the Seahorse’s craft wines, beers and foodie bites soon, but today’s column is all about the other find at the Pearl St. General Store – its coffeeshop nook. Although it’s been around for about a year now, too, I’ve just begun stopping in these last few weeks. I have to say, it’s become my new favorite in Laguna.

For starters, the little shop announced its loyalty to Verve Coffee, a gorgeous roast that’s been crafted in Santa Cruz since 2007. Its founding fathers are all about surfing and living in unique California coastal towns, and that’s alright by me. To date, I’ve met three Pearl St. baristas, all of whom are exceedingly polite and flexible with my decaf coffee requests. And, as they labor over making a truly craft creation, I have just enough time to wander over to Zoltar who, I’m sure, is the very same Zoltar that granted Tom Hanks’ wish in the movie, Big. (Zoltar is easy to find in the store. In fact, if you walk past him twice, he’ll yell at you to get your attention.)

Not a hubbub kind of place

The coffee nook itself is furnished with a tiny couch and two small cocktail tables with chairs, and that’s alright by me. I’ve found it a perfect refuge for those mornings when I feel a need to mull and journal my findings, particularly after reading Zoltar’s blunt commentary about my pending life.
There’s plenty of Coast Highway curb parking here, or just turn onto Pearl Street for more parking spaces. The coffee nook is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Make a point of stopping by … Zoltar is waiting.