The Night Owl – Downtown Fullerton’s Community-Centered Café

02 Outdoor Seating - Downtown Fullerton's The Night OwlThe Night Owl is an inconspicuous gem located on Harbor Boulevard in Downtown Fullerton, also referred to lovingly as DTF. A relatively new establishment, founded in 2011, The Night Owl is a popular venue for quite a range of clientele. No matter the time of day, you are bound to see students studying, business professionals meeting or working, retirees reading a newspaper and couples on a coffee date. I have visited a few times and would call myself a fan.

The overall vibe of the café can be summed up as cozy, hip, bohemian. The Night Owl offers indoor and outdoor seating. The large back patio is very popular, particularly on warm Spring and Summer days. The café’s interior is packed with vintage chairs and furniture. Sculptures sit on nearly every surface, consisting mainly of unique owl statues. Walls are filled with artwork. The Night Owl prides itself in offering itself as a gallery for local artists. Their artists in residence exhibit their work on the walls with accompanied background information and pricing per piece.

The Night Owl also offers performance space where local musicians regularly show their stuff. The owner of the café is a musician and so was inspired to create a unique program for artists. Through this program, musicians can play at the venue for free and accept tips from the audience. The Night Owl will then match the tipped amount as a grocery store gift card to be donated anonymously to a local family in need. In essence, the café provides a fun event for locals to enjoy themselves with good food and music, which in turn helps the disadvantaged in the community. The set can accommodate a solo or duo act.

03 Indoor Seating - Downtown Fullerton's The Night Owl

Additionally, The Night Owl offers an Open Mic Night for musicians every Tuesday at 9pm throughout Spring and Summer 2014. Sign-up starts at 8:30pm and requires the purchase of a beverage. For more information on performing at The Night Owl visit their Music page.

The café’s most popular offerings include their pastries, artisan coffee, espresso drinks and tea. The shop uses only organic fair trade coffee. Patrons are encouraged to customize their drinks however they like.

On Yelp.com, reviews for The Night Owl frequently list their chocolate chip cookies, vegan fruit smoothies and chai tea latte with hemp milk as fan favorites. I personally liked their iced decaf Americano and cookies. The baristas will offer to warm up your cookie for you – always say yes. Their cookies are indeed delicious!

05 Pastries and Cookies - Downtown Fullerton's The Night Owl

The baristas are friendly and helpful. They make you feel at home treating every patron as a valued guest. Each time I have been there I noticed the baristas greeting regulars on a first name basis, often remembering their preferred drink.

The Night Owl has an affinity for social media, with lots of fun content on each channel. Find all their social media accounts on their website. For upcoming events visit The Night Owl on Twitter.

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