Take a Tour: Dark Horse

Last Monday, Angela and I decided to explore my old stomping grounds of Adams Avenue. My first apartment in San Diego was on Adams and it would be a nice neighborhood to move back to someday. Since I left, there have been a lot of great changes on Adams including restaurants and shops, the newest of which we stumbled upon–Dark Horse Coffee Roasters. They’ve only been open for two weeks!

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

The owner, Daniel, is congenial and very easy to talk to. Any feelings of intimidation that I normally have when visiting a hip new establishment vanished–I could tell he is dedicated to his quality coffee and the success of his store.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

The most fabulous thing, to me, is that he DIYed the whole interior of the store himself. Being a design geek, I ate it all up. The wood-paneled wall, the coffee bar facing the window–the counter, everything was DIY. He was eager to share his secrets as well–he explained how he made the wood-paneled wall in a way that even a novice DIYer could feel confident replicating. The chalkboard paint trend was represented in a tasteful, limited, and totally functional way. And how awesome is his accent color of mint green on the counter? It totally keeps the place looking fresh, balancing out the earthy wood tones!

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

The narrow bar facing the window was a great way to maximize the limited square footage. In the space that would have accommodated just another 2-person round table, he managed to fit room for 4 seats–or a casual place to lean while waiting to order.

The branding was not only consistent but cost-effective. He has a few different rubber stamp designs, which he used to decorate the bar, the trim, bags, and even cups. By buying plain wares and customizing them himself, not only is a handcrafted feel created, but money is also saved. Think of the other businesses who can take a cue from this method!

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

You won’t find espresso offerings here–just craft coffee–but Daniel was friendly enough to explain the difference between a pour-over and a French press. I had a French press and Doug had a pour over–the flavor of both options was out of this world. Monday, I literally had the flavor in my mouth all day–the best cup of coffee I have ever had! I couldn’t wait to pop back in Wednesday to take these photos and get another cup!

If you’d like to go, the address is 3260 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA. For more info, follow Dark Horse on facebook!

Check out some of my other tours by clicking here


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Staci blogs about travel at TheVoyageer.com.

2 thoughts on “Take a Tour: Dark Horse”

  1. Wow, this is a budding entrepreneur’s dream! I’m so impressed that Daniel DIY’d everything from the shop to the mugs to the coffee. I love the atmosphere of the place and I can’t wait to get a cup of coffee there soon!

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