Walking into Veronese Gallery & Café feels like you’re traversing through an enchanted dreamscape. The tranquil setting takes you away from the bustle of downtown Fullerton to a secret garden where you can savor each sip of your coffee in serenity.
By Janica Torres
While the ambiance is quaintly quiet, the aesthetic is a cacophony of rustic and lush design, with a mishmash of artful artifacts that meld together within the foliage that envelopes it.
Ren Collantes, a junior at the Orange County School of Arts, described his first impression of the café as surreal.
“When you walk in, it’s an influx of aesthetic, and they make the atmosphere dreamlike with music,” Collantes said.
The café is a relic of sorts, fittingly so since the original property is a house that has been around for over 100 years and is considered a historic landmark. The blend of art and coffee is ground in owner Seulki Kim’s family history. Kim’s parents, who are both artists, purchased the house and turned it into an art gallery to showcase her mother’s paintings.
Born in South Korea by way of France, the Kim family converted the house into a gallery in 2004. Veronese was solely an art exhibit back then, but soon after, they slowly began selling coffee to bring more people and profit to the business.
“Little by little, we just started serving coffee,” Kim said. “Then we expanded a bit more, so now it’s become a major draw; the coffee shop is our major and then the gallery an aside.”
Secrecy and seclusion make the cafe a perfect place for students to study or take a date. Unlike most coffee shops, Veronese’s outdoor seating is ample and picturesque: intricately designed to provide little nooks of private, intimate space. Its location is deceiving, situated in a residential neighborhood and obscured by shrubbery and orange groves that are symbolic of the city.
Hannah Collantes, a senior nursing student at Cypress College, found out about the café by word of mouth, which is how most folks find their way here. What keeps her coming back is that they do their own thing.
“Nowadays, if you go to a coffee shop, it’s very modern and minimalistic,” said Collantes. “This is the exact opposite: it takes you into a whole different environment. It makes a great place for a date or studying, but a mix of both of the two.”
Students are welcome to study, use the free Wi-Fi, and power their devices for as long as they want, so long as each person in the party orders one item off the menu.
Veronese’s menu is a combination of Korean, Italian, and French cuisine. They offer their rendering of Korean ramen, Italian spaghetti and paninis, and French crepes that Kim perfected while living in France for six years prior to coming to the US.
The café’s biggest draw is their array of eclectic coffees, teas, and fresh juices. They also serve a selection of beer, wine, and Korean makcrash: a milky and fruity iced alcoholic treat. What’s most unique to the café is their offering of traditional Korean healthy teas served hot or iced that you won’t find at any boba shop around town.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, a quiet space to catch up on work, or a romantic setting to get to know that special someone, Veronese Gallery & Café promises an exquisite experience that will transport you to a secret realm right here in Fullerton.