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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Eastern Cafe Is Weathered But Not Distressed

Posted by on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I-Miun Liu, owner
  • I-Miun Liu, owner

Eastern Cafe inhabits a ballroom-like space in the International District that stood vacant for three years before owner I-Miun Liu signed the lease. I-Miun hired a contractor who removed the drywall and carpet to reveal beautifully weathered mint-green and yellow cement walls and the space's original fir floors. With simple lighting and changing local artwork (currently a mixed-media show by Aung Robo), the place is appealingly industrial without any distressed-jeans-esque overkill. The building is more than 100 years old, built as a hotel for railway workers; the rooms upstairs are now rented as apartments.

I-Miun, whose background is in economics and banking, also owns a nearby bubble tea shop, Oasis. He wanted to open a type of business that doesn't exist anywhere else in the neighborhood...

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