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Syrup Desserts Getting Set to Give Downtown a Sweet Hangout

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, July 07, 2009, at 09:09PM
Syrup Desserts Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Stan Lin and Steven Seav stand inside the soon-to-open Syrup Dessert space in the ground floor of the Hayward Hotel on Spring street.

Spring street will get a lot sweeter this month, as Syrup Desserts opens in the ground floor of the Hayward Hotel. The eatery and coffee shop is currently going through final preparations and inspections, and the owners hope to be open late in July.

In the meantime, we thought it might be nice to get to know a little bit more about what should be a tasty addition to the Historic Core.

After a recent chat inside the almost-finished Syrup space, owners Stan Lin and Steven Seav answered questions via email.

ERIC RICHARDSON: In an email to me, you described Syrup as a dessert bar / coffee house. What's the concept, and where did the idea come from?

SYRUP DESSERTS: Our adventure started off with us looking for a high foot traffic area with the likes of Hollywood and some of areas of the west side in mind, but none of those places had the neighborhood feel and charm of the Historic Core. With one of the owners having graduated from nearby USC it sealed the deal for downtown.

We currently have a target soft opening of late July with a grand opening and completed menu hopefully sometime in August. We are starting with espresso, dessert waffles/crepes, and gelato and then working in bistro sandwhiches and fresh salads later on.

Eric, you have been a witness to downtown as a whole and specifically Historic Downtown organically growing into this cohesive and vibrant community over the past few years. We want to be a valuable contributor to that growth in the community with our dessert bar.

And we felt that nothing said community more than a warm-friendly place where people could meet for great conversations, to cap dinner or the night off, or just to hang out with friends and have a good time.

And how better to do that than over some great dessert and coffee?

ER: Taking a peek into the space last week, I thought the loft area looked like a really comfortable place to hang out. Why did you go with couches instead of just tables and chairs?

SYRUP: With all of Spring street basically being converted bank or office buildings we wanted that same kind of urban and lofty vibe for our establishment.

That's why we designed the interior to be versatile enough so you that in one section of the space you could have a customer enjoying some gelato or cereal in a bright and clean area. But at the same time with the loft area we wanted to offer a dimmer, soothing, and relaxing setting: for friends to enjoy some board games over coffee, for people wanting to get some reading done, or anyone that wanted to just come hang out to watch the game or news.

Hence the lounge seating and the couches.

ER: You're on a block that has suddenly turned into quite the late-night stretch, with L.A. Cafe, D-Town Burger Bar and the market all offering late hours. Are you planning to jump into late night?

SYRUP: Absolutely! Another Eric who is one of the owners of the building is a great friend of ours and we all set out several months ago with the idea of turning this corner into vibrant area for nightlife. We are going to do our share and do plan on opening late on Thu/Fri/Sat. We hope to get to a point if there is enough support to have no set closing time on the weekend.

ER: What's one dessert that you think people are going to be particularly excited about?

SYRUP: We will have a wide range of food and dessert from ice cream sandwiches, to sweet grilled cheese sandwiches, and all the way to crepes. But one of the owners spent a part of his childhood in Germany and there he fell in love with the sugar waffle. We serve a version of the this Belgian delicacy and we think people are definitely going to love drinking a cup of espresso while biting into a warm Belgian waffle.

ER: Open question: What would you like to say to your Downtown soon-to-be-customers?

SYRUP: Downtown is leaps and bounds beyond what anyone thought was imaginable only a few years ago. Let us become part of that growth and this community by stopping by when you are in the area.

We promise that you will be served with a extraordinary service, a smile, and leave with that sweet tooth satisfied.

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