Where do you go to get the best sandwich in Arcadia?
I may not be fully qualified to answer that question, but I can confidently say I know a place that has wonderful sandwiches.
Although open to the public, it is located on the second floor of the , formerly Arcadia All-Pro, at First Avenue and Duarte Road. It’s a mini coffee shop with a full menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, waffles, coffee, health drinks and more. There is also a kids’ menu.
The name of his place is Healthy Café Coffee Story. We’ll get to the story behind that name a bit later in this piece.
First, some background.
I’ve been a member of Arcadia Fitness for 20 years and no one has been able to make a go of a restaurant at on the second floor even though a number of people have tried.
A couple of months ago, a young man set up shop there, and no doubt members were thinking, “Here we go again. Wonder how long he’ll last?”
But then word started to spread that the sandwiches were terrific. More than a few members told me that I should give the place a try.
My wife and I were hosting a Super Bowl party and my assignment was to buy sandwiches. So a few days before the Super Bowl, I ordered a sandwich from the Healthy Café Coffee Story as a test.
I chose a Kelly Sandwich, priced at $7.50. There are 14 sandwiches on the menu at that price, all named after people who work at the gym. The one I selected is named after Kelly Huang, whose family owns Arcadia Fitness.
It consists of ground turkey, avocado, almonds, mayo, tomato, lettuce Jack cheese and herb dressing. It was very tasty and so thick I could only eat a half. I took the other half home, and my wife gave her approval.
So I went back the next morning and placed an order for a $50 sandwich platter to be picked up at halftime of the Super Bowl.
The group at our party consisted mostly of retired teachers from Elementary School. Jeanne Leonhard, who retired two years ago, is the organizer. My wife Norma taught at Baldwin Stocker before moving over to 13 years ago. The group has been meeting at Super Bowl parties at various homes for many years.
At the party at our home, the sandwiches were a huge hit. Just about everyone raved about them. That’s when I got the idea to let others in Arcadia know about this place. I returned the day after the Super Bowl to try and find out a little information about the owner.
His name is Danny Yoo. He is 31 and a very polite young man. He came to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea four years ago. He owned a little café there he called Coffee Story. He just added Healthy Café in front of that. So that’s that story.
He told me he also owns a little café in North Hollywood, and his partner takes care of that place.
He found Arcadia Fitness through a friend who is a member.
He’s a one-man operation and his little café is open the same hours as the gym: 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
That adds up to a 121-hour work week.
If his venture fails, it won’t be for lack of trying--or because of an inferior product.