What Do You Say? Has Coffee Gotten Too Fancy?

Posted by Ryan O'Rourke on May 15, 2017 in Coffee Culture News
Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

At Ironclad Coffee Roasters, we were interested to read about the buzz over the $1 coffee being served at Locol, a Los-Angles-based fast-food chain.  The head of Locol’s coffee operation is Tony Konecny (also known as “Tonx”) formerly of Victrola and Intelligentsia.  He is a veteran of the specialty coffee world and still subscribes to high standards in sourcing and roasting coffee.  So, how does he serve a $1 cup without cutting those corners?

First, Locol charges 50 cents for cream and / or sugar — no freebies.  Additionally, they serve only drip (or batch-brewed) coffee; no pour-overs, espresso drinks, or anything more involved which Tonx calls “culinary burlesque.”  He admits that “you couldn’t run a coffee shop selling coffee for a dollar … it wouldn’t be a sustainable business.”  He thinks that the fanciness of third-wave coffee shops is keeping coffee from being “democratized.”

So, what do you think, Ironclad friends and fans?  Is Tonx some sort of prophet of coffee’s fourth wave, or is he just taking our “No Fimble-Famble” approach a little farther (maybe a bit too far)?  As we look to the future, what do you want to see in an Ironclad cafe?  Would you want a fast-food experience with a price tag to match, or would you pay more for a tricked-out pour-over bar with innovative brew methods and specialty drinks?  High quality green coffees, impeccable standards in roasting, and brewing done with care are not negotiable, of course!  Read more about Tonx and Locol here and give us your thoughts in the comments below!


  • I’d pass on any coffee that’s only a buck and then wants to charge 50% of that price for the standard accoutrements .

  • I am in the business and think we have gone a bit bonkers. I love the idea of getting back to basic black. This coffee would get me in their door for sure.

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