Community: New Neighbors, Warby Parker & Blacktop Coffee

Community: New Neighbors, Warby Parker & Blacktop Coffee

By Shea and Raan Parton

Photos by Ken Tisuthiwongse, Sherman Thomas

We're proud to share two additions to our neighborhood that opened over the past few weeks, just half a block from Apolis: Common Gallery, on Third Street. Our friend Tyler Wells, designed the 250-foot-square space European-style espresso bar, Blacktop Coffee, operated by our friends at Wurstküche. Additionally, the eyewear brand Warby Parker found residency inside Alchemy Works. My wife and I (Raan), opened Alchemy Works in November 2013, as a gallery, retail, and events space. We believe that it provides a great multi-brand extension of Apolis, and we were excited for the opportunity to co-design an innovative retail concept with Warby Parker inside Alchemy Works. We worked closely with the proprietor of Otto Design Group, Philip Otto, and the Warby Parker team to create a relevant design for the space and the local community. The final product was fittingly titled “Warby Parker Glass House.”

Suspended from the ceiling now hangs a glass house with lighting fixtures suspended inside. The glass house shadows the ground level wood shelves and the brand’s collection of optical and sunglasses. They plan to have every style represented, which is more variety than either of their other two Los Angeles showrooms (located inside the Standard Hotel Hollywood and the Standard Hotel Downtown). Opticians will be available daily for adjustments and checkups. This showroom location has inventory on-site, so after you purchase your new $95 glasses, you can immediately be protected from Los Angeles’ ongoing heat wave.

We are glad to welcome Warby Parker to the Arts District, and we are thankful for this quote from our close friend, and the brand’s cofounder, Neil Blumenthal: “In a space like Alchemy Works, run by creative entrepreneurs like the Partons, we wanted to seize the chance for innovation and take a fresh approach.”


We are growing now and so we are also looking to grow our team as well, broadening our skill set to allow us to impact more people through our advocacy. Find out more about our current available position here.

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