Two days ago I tweeted, “It’s in these cold, dark times that the city of Los Angeles needs you @DunkinDonuts…to expand West and franchise around the city.”
At the time, this tweet was nothing more than a pipe dream, a Kevin Costner-like call for a baseball diamond made of corn husks—or, more accurately, a call to a disinterested followership that seems to diminish every time I hit send on my iPhone. Another half-hearted attempt at articulating, through a chain coffee company, what the city of Los Angeles needs.
Anyway, I thought nothing of it. I went to sleep, then woke up and got a coffee from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf the next morning. The coffee was alright. I put cinnamon in it. Whatever. And I made it through the day. Congratulations to me, right?
L.A. is a city that could use backbone.
Yes. Congratulations to me. Because today, I woke up to this news: “Dunkin’ Donuts is finally coming to Los Angeles!“
Even though the accompanying link indicated that the expansion wouldn’t occur until 2015, the headline alone energized me in a way that felt as if an angel had transported a Turbo Ice coffee directly from the corporate headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts to my bedroom with the message, “I know Christmas was like a month ago, but rise and grind, bro.” Hazelnut thoughts danced in my head. Thoughts like, Wow, I finally understand Field of Dreams. Because if L.A. is a vacant lot, Dunkin’ Donuts is the field that can change the game.
See, Los Angeles is a city where no one acts their age. It’s a city whose natives don’t know the meaning of the term breakfast sandwich. A city where you can justify buying a $5 cup of single-origin coffee from Intelligensia because the barista’s wear herringbone hats and tweed vests and you can see how long the line is by logging onto the website. It’s a city where free-trade coffeeshops and weed-dispensary stores are indiscernible from the outside. It’s a city that had the moxie to export its own joe (Coffee Bean) to New York without the graciousness to accept the offerings of the East. It’s a city that could use backbone.
[Dunkin' Donuts] is Boston, Providence, and Queens all mixed up into a brew that says, ‘The realness of our store is about to completely change the fabric of your city.’
Enter Dunkin’. A beacon of light in the land of white-collar coffeeshops, organic juice bars, and farmers markets. A blue-collar chain whose sizes are small, medium, and large. And extra large. Dunkin’ Donuts is a place where paralyzing indecision is solved by a friendly Flavorology wheel; where frozen eggs win the day over fresh, organic pasteurized ones; where no one knows your name, and it’s better that way. It’s Boston, Providence, and Queens all mixed up into a brew that says, “Hey Los Angeles, I hope you’re ready. Because the realness of our store is about to completely change the fabric of your city.”
Two days ago, I sent a prayer out into the ether. And today it was answered. And while chances are the decision to build over 150 stores in Southern California was probably not one made in a single day, the seeds of change have been planted. So get ready, L.A.: You can juice cleanse and drink your pourovers for two more years. But then it’s time to run on Dunkin’.
Theodore Bressman is a hollowed out screenwriter living in Los Angeles. You can follow him, then unfollow him, on Twitter at @TheodoreB.