Tucked away from the crowded streets along Old Town Pasadena, in a spot known as Mills Place alley, is a not-so everyday coffee shop called Equator.It is commonly referred to as The Equator, and is known among locals as a unique asset among the cluster of shops in Old Town.
Judging by numerous online reviews, and personal experience, Equator is the type of place that you either have to stumble upon or must hear about through word-of-mouth.
It was 20 minutes until four in the afternoon and Equator was seemingly empty. Two people sitting outside in the newly added patio and one person inside relaxing on the lofty velveteen couches were the only customers in sight.
It was quite a contrast from the collection of early shoppers strolling Colorado Boulevard. Considering the location, it does not seem as too much of a surprise. Two friendly employees, one of whom is currently attending PCC, were on the job.
“[Equator] is a good place to get away.[or] to do your homework,” said Cristina Colon, an Equator employee and current student. Colon noted that during the early to mid-afternoon, Equator is a haven for students who want to catch up on some reading or enjoy the free wi-fi internet connection.
A wide variety of inexpensive coffee drinks are displayed on hand-painted scrolls hanging from the ceiling. An avid Brian Diaz, also an employee, said, “We sell anything you can get at Starbucks, but for about [three dollars] cheaper.”
With an array of tasty drinks – from a special blend of coffee made especially for Equator, to over a dozen milkshakes and smoothies – and a knowledgeable staff, customers can practically invent their own drink on the spot.
It was not too long ago that Equator was also known for its Europa deli. Last December, however, Equator decided to renovate and give the place an Asian flair. As a result, the kitchen is temporarily shut down.
The previous menu specialized in sandwiches, wraps, salads, and had a great vegetarian selection. It is not known if Equator will continue the previous menu or not.
“Everything is in a big transition [at Equator],” Colon said.
For late-night coffee drinkers, Equator is open until midnight Monday through Thursday, 1 a.m. on Friday, and 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Late at night Equator is a great place to go “if you aren’t into the whole bar scene,” according to Diaz. It is also worth mentioning Equator’s $8 multi-flavored hookah selection with a one-drink a person minimum. Make sure to you take your I.D.
Equator is notable for its dim lighting at night, making it difficult to read the menu. It helps if you go in with a drink order in mind.
Equator is also a place where a familiar face receives special treatment. “We offer discounts to regulars,” said Diaz. “About eight to ten percent,” he added.
If you have never visited Equator, you should check it out both in the early afternoon and late at night. You might have fairly different impressions of it at both times. Equator Café is something to experience for yourself.
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