While people just call it Coffee Bean and forget the Tea Leaf, executives at family-run chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf want to change that by highlighting their love of Orange Oolong and other whole-leaf tea selections.

The company opened a store late last month in Manhattan Beach to test its new tea bar concept. The bar offers customers a selection of 20 whole-leaf teas, sold three ways: brewed hot by the cup, brewed hot by the pot for tea service at the table, or dry by the ounce to take home and brew yourself. The teas cost between $4 and $8 an ounce. Table service is $5.95 and includes two small pastries.

Danielle Pollard, director of operations and franchise services for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, spearheaded the idea. She said tea is becoming more popular with American consumers so the company wants to make sure people know it’s more than just a coffee chain.

“It’s been a part of our business for 50 years, but it gets lost because of our heavy focus on coffee,” she said. “We want to showcase to customers that we are a tea authority.”

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores are owned and operated by parent company International Coffee & Tea LLC on La Cienega Boulevard near the 10 Freeway. It has more than 850 franchised and company-owned stores in 23 countries, including 230 in California.

The company will open two more stores to test the tea bar concept early next year, one in Beverly Hills and one elsewhere in Los Angeles. If the tea bars test well with customers, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will consider rolling out the concept to stores that have a large enough space to accommodate it. The 1,984-square-foot Manhattan Beach store is larger than most other Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations.

Pollard said the company will decide whether to cultivate the concept once it knows how much people like it.

“It’s truly going to be based on customer feedback and where our sales are,” she said.

Revolving Doors

Men’s clothing retailer Brooks Brothers will take over a 1,100-square-foot flower shop on the ground level of downtown L.A. private social club Jonathan Club. The store, which will focus on men’s suiting, will also convert basement space into a tailor shop. … Hollywood nightclub Couture opened last month on Cahuenga Boulevard. The 3,800-square-foot lounge features a central runway for fashion shows. … Washington, D.C., dessert shop Georgetown Cupcake opened its first West Coast outpost on Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills last month. Shop co-owners Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis Berman star in the TLC reality TV show “DC Cupcakes.” … Sweet Hollywood, a 30,000-square-foot candy store, opened last month at the Hollywood & Highland Center. … Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its West Covina store on Eastland Center Drive last month. The two-level store occupies a former Mervyns department store and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. … Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel in Beverly Hills has completed renovations to its onsite restaurant and bar, On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge. … Torrance health food eatery Beach Bowls Acai Café opened a second location in Redondo Beach last month.

At Your Service

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in Stamford, Conn., and L.A. hospitality company SBE Entertainment Group named Xavier Moulin general manager at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. Moulin previously managed hotel assets for SBE as director of operations and opening general manager at Hollywood hotel Redbury. He will oversee operations at the 297-room hotel and manage more than 400 employees. … Beverly Hills restaurant Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room, inside the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel, named Stephen Kalt executive chef. The hotel restaurant, which recently completed a dining room renovation, is the first L.A. project for Kalt, who previously worked with restaurants in Las Vegas; New York; and Atlantic City, N.J. … El Segundo toy company Mattel Inc. named Chief Executive Bryan Stockton chairman effective Dec. 31. Stockton will replace former Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert on the board. … Culver City burger chain Counter named Bryan Vicentini president and chief operating officer last week. He was promoted after two years as vice president of operations.

Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at bfirnhaber@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.

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