The E. Haley corridor continues to heat up with the arrival of a stylish third-wave café called Low Pigeon.
The name, says co-founder Dennis Medina, comes via his partners, Rich Low and Matt Pigeon. Having learned all about coffee—from roasting to pulling shots to packaging—at Sightglass in San Francisco, Medina joined Santa Barbara’s Handlebar, where he oversaw the roasting, and then the French Press (now Dune).
When he was ready to go off on his own, he started Low Pigeon; the company began wholesale roasting a year ago, with Old Town Coffee in Goleta as a primary client. The Lark, Hook & Press Donuts, and Welcome Coffee Cart have since followed.
Low Pigeon’s flagship café—there will be more, says Medina—is at 401 E. Haley, at the northeast corner of Laguna, in what was built in the 1940s as a gas station. (The property is owned by Kirsten and Darrell Becker, of Becker Studios, who also own the Mill complex across the street.) There’s no indoor seating, just one room for roasting and another for the baristas. And the design is spare but elegant—Carrie Nelson did the branding—with the emphasis squarely on coffee. “We’re vibing off of In-N-Out,” says Medina, explaining the menu’s tight focus. “We want you to know that the is coffee always on point.” That’s not to say there aren’t broader plans for the appealing patio: We can expect a collaboration with Rascals on Labor Day, retail events on the patio, special cuppings, and more.