Artlab’s new caffeinated cohort

Posted: April 25th, 2014 | Arts & Entertainment, Music, Top Story | 1 Comment

Jen Van Tieghem | Uptown News

Java Joe’s moves into Normal Heights

Artlab in Normal Heights has always held fast to its goal of bringing individuals together with creativity. Whether it be an art show, poetry reading or musical performance, this dynamic space has opened its doors to all types of inspired artistry over the years.

A shot of Java Joe’s new interior in Normal Heights within Artlab (Photo by Marissa Mortati)

A shot of Java Joe’s new interior in Normal Heights within Artlab (Photo by Marissa Mortati)

In a recent twist of fate, Java Joe’s, another establishment with similar ideals, was looking for a new location to call home and has landed at Artlab. The coffee house/music venue synonymous with San Diego success stories like Jason Mraz, Jewel and Steve Poltz had been running out of Ocean Beach Surf and Skate Shop when it abruptly closed. It’s operated in half a dozen different locations since opening in Poway over two decades ago.

“It was a real unfortunate thing,” said owner Joe Flammini of having to relocate after moving back to Ocean Beach just over a year ago.

But as luck would have it, Flammini and Jim Yuran of Artlab were introduced at just the right time by local photographer Dennis Anderson. A partnership was quickly forged.

Less than a year since meeting, Yuran and Flammini will soon celebrate the fruition of their efforts as Java Joe’s opens inside Artlab on April 26 and 27. The timing of the opening coincides with Adams Avenue Unplugged — and what better way to kickoff a music program than with nearly 20 hours of performances over the course of two days?

Even with a truncated timeline for Joe’s moving in, they’ve managed to open up the space by removing an office area, arranging the coffee bar and seating, and painting the interior for a fresh look just in time for the fresh start.

Both Flammini and Yuran are excited about what this collaboration will mean for their businesses and the area. Both point out that music and art go hand in hand, and they’re happy to offer both in this vibrant area of town.

“One thing I love about this area is how much the [Adams Avenue Business Association] promotes arts and crafts with the street fairs and festivals,” Flammini said. “It seems they do more in this area than anywhere else in San Diego.”

Yuran echoed these sentiments, explaining that being an official venue of Unplugged has been great for business and now that the streets are not shut down, it is more economical all the way around.

“Adams has always had a really strong association with music and the folk music scene,” Yuran said of the natural fit between Java Joe’s and an event such as Unplugged.

In addition to growing as a music venue, Joe’s will also operate as a coffee shop seven days a week. One relationship that benefits that aspect is with Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. The well-known local company has a stellar reputation for their “farm to cup” philosophy and delicious coffee.

“It’s a little more pricey but it’s well worth it,” Flammini said of purchasing from Bird Rock, which was named the 2012 “Roaster of the Year” by Roast Magazine.

Also in keeping with that local theme is the development of the Java Joe’s food menu. So far, Flammini knows he will serve products from bakers Bread & Cie and Sweet Cheeks Baking Company, hoping to have a few others to include as well.

Another perk for the daytime crowd will be free Wi-Fi and accessibility to print services next door at Yuran’s other business, Ego id Media.

As the space evolves to include a lounge area and possible outside seating, they hope it will serve many purposes in the neighborhood: a place to relax and enjoy music, art, coffee, or all three.

For more information on Artlab and Java Joe’s visit


Upcoming Events at Java’s
April 25 – Tribal Baroque
April 26 & 27 – Grand opening with “Unplugged” performances featuring Sara Petite, Lisa Sanders, The Gregory Page Show, Robin Henkel and Whitney Shay, and more.
May 3 – Nena Anderson
May 10 – Steph Johnson
May 17 – Joe Rathburn
May 24 – Berkley Hart
Thursdays – The Gregory Page Show
Sundays – Open Mic Nights with Isaac Cheong




One Comments

  1. Jessica Hull says:

    A smart move for Jim and Joe. I’m SO HAPPY this is happening!

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