Cup ‘N Cakes Cafe from “Modern Family”Feb 25th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
A few weeks back, a fellow stalker who identified himself as “Stepick” left a comment on my Step by Step house post informing me that a coffee shop in nearby South Pasadena had been featured in the recent episode of fave show Modern Family entitled “Moon Landing”. Unfortunately though, Stepick did not specify exactly which South Pasadena coffee house it was. So, I decided to do a little bit of digging to see if I could figure it out. I came up empty-handed at first, until this past weekend when a blog named “Greetings from LA” published a post about Modern Family filming locations along with a link to this article about the coffee shop that had been used on the show. Thank you, Greetings from L.A.! In real life, that coffee shop is named Kaldi Coffee & Tea and, amazingly enough, I had never before heard of the place. So, I, of course, had to run right out and stalk it, not just because I love Modern Family, but because, as those of you who read my site regularly know, I absolutely love coffee. Like LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. Oh, what I won’t do for a good cup o’ joe. But I digress.
Kaldi Coffee & Tea, which has been in operation for over 15 years, is an incredibly charming little coffee house located inside of an old bank building. With its brick walls, mismatched chairs, large couch, and chalk board menu, the place evokes memories of the Central Perk set from Friends. So, needless to say, I loved it! And, amazingly enough, when I walked through the front doors I immediately recognized the shop from another production besides Modern Family! But more on that later. Despite what some internet reviews have stated, I am very happy to report that Kaldi’s serves up some FABULOUS coffee. I also indulged in a little veggie sandwich while there and I am happy to report that it, too, was fabulous! The staff at Kaldi’s was EXTREMELY nice and not only answered all of my silly questions about the filming of Modern Family, but also let me take all the photographs I wanted. Yay! I loved the place so much, in fact, that I am fairly certain I am going to be a frequent stalker there. 😉
The Kaldi’s scene from Modern Family starts out across the street from the cafe, on the sidewalk in front of the South Pasadena Public Library (a location which stood in for Haddonfield High School in Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake). In the scene, Gloria (aka Sophia Vergara) takes her son Manny (aka Rico Rodriguez) and her step-son/ lawyer Mitchell (aka Jesse Tyler Ferguson) to the site of her recent car accident so that she can explain what happened. After showing them where the accident took place, she heads over to Kaldi’s, which was called Cup ‘N Cakes Cafe in the episode, to grab some cupcakes, while Mitchell and Manny wait behind at the accident site to take pictures. It is there that Manny tells Mitchell that his mother was actually at fault in the wreck. When Mitchell asks why Manny didn’t tell his mom that, Manny explains “She can’t take criticism about her driving. Once an old lady yelled at her at a crosswalk. She honked so long, the horn ran out!” LOL LOL LOL
Only a small portion of Kaldi’s exterior is shown in the scene . . .
. . . but the interior is featured quite extensively while the threesome is eating their cupcakes.
And it is outside of Kaldi’s that Gloria gets into her second car accident of the week, crashing into the side of the cafe and knocking down Cup ‘N Cakes’ large pink cupcake sign, which was, of course, just a prop that was brought in for the filming. The restaurant where Claire (aka Julie Bowen) met Valerie (aka Minnie Driver) for lunch in that same episode is located less than a block away from Kaldi’s. It is named Bistro de la Gare, but I have yet to stalk the place. Don’t worry, though, as it’s definitely on my list!
Kaldi’s also appeared in a brief scene in fave movie The Ugly Truth, in which Abby Richter (aka Katherine Heigl) and her best friend Joy (aka Bree Turner) fawn all over her new boyfriend Colin (aka Eric Winter). Oddly enough, I had actually been searching for The Ugly Truth coffee shop for MONTHS, but couldn’t seem to locate it anywhere! So, when I walked into Kaldi’s yesterday afternoon, I just about fell over as I immediately recognized it as the place I had long been searching for. Funny how stuff like that happens. 😉
The Ugly Truth also made use of the same stretch of sidewalk that appeared in Modern Family for the scene in which Mike Chadway (aka Gerard Butler) convinces Abby to purchase some hair extensions. That sidewalk is located directly across the street from Kaldi’s.
Kaldi’s was also featured in two scenes in the 2008 movie Role Models as Beth (aka Elizabeth Banks) and Danny’s (aka Paul Rudd’s) local coffee shop. One of the scenes features a very funny rant by Paul Rudd over the fact that the term “venti” does not actually mean large in Italian.
Producers completely remodeled Kaldi’s for the filming of Role Models, though, making it appear very Coffee-Bean-ish, so it almost unrecognizable from that flick. Kaldi’s was also featured in the 2007 Anthony Hopkins’ movie Slipstream and it will be appearing in an upcoming episode of the new television series Parenthood.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Kaldi Coffee & Tea, aka Cup ‘N Cakes Cafe from Modern Family, is located at 1019 El Centro Street, at the southwest corner of El Centro Street and Diamond Avenue, in South Pasadena. Bistro de la Gare, the restaurant where Minnie Driver and Julie Bowen ate on Modern Family, is located less than a block away at 921 Meridian Avenue.