When Andrew Cohen finally opened the doors to Rush Snack Bar this morning it was obvious that he made the right naming choice. The flood of early morning commuters coming from the bowels of the 7th Street Metro Center Station proved that rush hour is the right time to entice groggy Metro riders with a snack or beverage.
L.A.’s first retail store in a subway station has received a surprising amount of hype – the little snack bar even made it into the L.A. Times this weekend. Cohen, who worked for years to obtain the easements for the subterranean space tucked inside the Hope Street portal of the subway station, could not be happier about the attention his venture has received.
In fact, if the 7th Street Metro Center location is a hit, he hopes to branch out and create a chain of snack bars at other Metro stations throughout the city.
What inspired Andrew to open Rush? “Europe,” he told me, “You see places like Rush all throughout Europe and I wanted to bring that convenience to L.A.”
And when you walk into Rush you can’t help but notice hints of its inspired European heritage. The space itself is tiny like any good Parisan cafe, but it’s clean and well laid out so that it doesn’t feel cramped. Wood paneling along the walls make you forget that you’re in a subway station. The concise menu is artfully crafted with chalk lettering – no glaring flat screens here.
Despite the rather plush interior the menu itself is simple and affordable – well within the range of any Metro rider’s budget. A dollar menu has the expected chips, sodas and other convenience store fare but I was most pleasantly surprised to find some healthier options on the menu. A juice bar offers freshly blended veggie and fruit concoctions for $3.50. The “Grab-N-Go” menu offers slightly heartier fare – great for lunch – all for under $5.
I ordered a juice drink (“The Rush”) and a veggie panini (freshly made, not prepackaged) for an under $10 lunch. If that’s still too spendy, Cohen is currently working with Metro to offer a Destination Discount to Metro riders, so stay tuned to The Source for more info on that deal.
More pictures after the jump.