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Sagebrush Cafe Brings People Together Over Coffee

By Jake Levin

Art and coffee combine to bring out the best in Eric Martin's Southern California coffee shop, Sagebrush Cafe, a place where there's always a view. Located in picturesque Quartz Hill, Calif., a tiny community hidden amongst the bright lights of Los Angeles County, Martin, and his business partner June Milhan, have owned Sagebrush Café since its inception in 2009.

Martin's love of art and coffee spawned the idea of bringing his passions together. Dreaming out loud turned into action, and while the shop has undergone some changes over the past eight years, its core idea remains the same.

"We want to celebrate our community, celebrate the arts and bring people together around a cup of coffee," Martin said. "We are a genuine, independent coffee shop and we show that identity in everything we do, so our atmosphere is a funky-unique, color-splashed, open-armed, vibrant-charming atmosphere."

Coffee, tea, pastries and sandwiches are available to be enjoyed on Sagebrush's outdoor patio, which is opened year round. The menu is diverse within the main items offered, but Martin said that it's the original items created within Sagebrush's walls that are his favorites.

The long, ever-changing list consists of the Raven Song Latte, the Aztec Warrior, Captain Kim's Peanut Butter & Honey Granola Bar, the Sweet Honey Love and the Static/Electric today.

That could be completely different tomorrow.

"Coming up with new flavor combinations is one of the many creative aspects of running a café," Martin said. "Coming up with names for our inventions is fun, too."

While the outdoor views of the Antelope Valley are nothing to scoff at, don't sleep on the artwork on the interior of Sagebrush, either.

The art on display comes in all shapes and sizes, from renowned commercial artists and illustrators to self-taught amateurs looking to make a name for themselves. The majority of the art is produced locally, but Martin has brought in works from up the coast in San Francisco, as well as locales as far away as Illinois.

"The variety and quality of art being made in the Antelope Valley is impressive and word has started to get out," Martin said. "We've seen it and introduced our customers to it for a while now, so it is great to see people talking about the photography, mixed media, fabric art, painting and illustration work that we have shown in a larger context. We're a small outfit, just one part of the arts scene in the Antelope Valley, but we are certainly proud to have a place in it."

The Sagebrush Café is open seven days a week; Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is located at 42104 50th Street West, Quartz Hill, Calif.

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