Harry Styles ate here. His fans will now eat here forever

People wait their turn for a table at the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 30, 2023. (Photos: NYTimes)
At 9:30am on a Thursday, the Harrys began to arrive at Beachwood Cafe. Young women with neon hair extensions, colorful crocheted cardigans, and shirts illustrated with cherries, sunflowers and the word “Pleasing” piled out of rental cars and Ubers. اضافة اعلان

They were trailed by their mothers and filming on their phones. By 10:30am, the mom-and pop eatery, which has been around since the 1970s in the heart of Los Angeles’ Beachwood Canyon, had a 30-minute wait, and a swarm of teenage girls taking photos in front of its blue door.

Who are the Harrys? They are Harry Styles superfans, and hordes of them have been making the pilgrimage to Beachwood Cafe, a cheerful spot with an all-day menu off a small village square, since December 2019. That is when the superstar briefly name-checked the restaurant in the song “Falling”: “And the coffee’s out at the Beachwood Cafe,” he sang. That one line — which Styles-olgoists believe to be about his ex Camille Rowe, a former Beachwood Canyon resident — sent a bat signal.

Oklahoman Marley Williams, 14, shows video from a Harry Styles concert to Noelle Jay, who is from Chicago, at the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 27, 2023. 

“I just felt like coming here would complete the whole Harry Styles experience,” said Caysey Gossweiler, 27, who traveled from Maryland to attend one of the three concerts that Styles would perform at the Kia Forum that weekend in late January.

“It’s panic-inducing; I could literally evaporate thinking about it,” said Noelle Jay, 26, of being in the same space where Styles once ate eggs. “He’s like a god,” added her cousin Mia Tucci, 17, whose hair was a shade of Kelly green. “He’s like my comfort person, my light, my inspiration, all of the above,” Jay replied.

Nearby, Nathan Freeman, 26, and his wife, Shannon Freeman, 25, were taking photos of Taylor Anderson and Alyson Johnston — 20-year-old college students from Oregon they had just met. “It was like — where should we go for breakfast? Harry told us where to go!” Nathan Freeman said gleefully.

People arrive at the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 27, 2023. Pop star Harry Styles name-checked the cheerful restaurant with an all-day menu in a lyric from his song “Falling,” and his fans have been flocking to the Beachwood Canyon spot ever since. 

Over avocado toast at a table inside, Anderson — who made her family do a detour during an Amalfi Coast vacation to visit a street where Styles filmed parts of the “Golden” music video (she found the location by searching Google Maps for landmarks in the background of the behind-the-scenes video) — offered her perspective on the fandom.

‘Harry coded’“It’s a family in a lot of ways,” she said. “A good example of how the online world connects people.”

Johnston finished watching a video on her phone of Styles doing Pilates, via the fan account Harry Florals, and added: “You can just kind of look at someone, and if they’re our age and wearing clothes that resemble the Harry style it’s like, OK, these are people you can talk to who are nice.”

Twin sisters and Harry Styles fans Jennifer and Jessica Sata Ayala, who came with their father to see a Harry Styles concert the previous night, outside the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 30, 2023. 

“The term is ‘Harry coded,’” explained Xoee Margolis, 26, who was wearing neon orange Adidas Gazelles (inspired by ones Styles wears from the Gucci/Adidas collaboration). She held two new Beachwood Market totes in her hand, which she had seen while browsing the cafe’s merchandise section online from her home in New York City. “Wearing a little cherry is an ode to the ‘Cherry’ song, carrying around a Beachwood bag the shoes are Harry-coded — it’s a vibe.”

“I made the mistake of not bringing in merch earlier,” said the cafe’s owner, Mike Fahim. But when he discovered eBay and Etsy accounts selling knockoff merchandise for his restaurant, he saw a business opportunity.

When Fahim took over the cafe in fall 2019, the crowd was a mix of locals, tourists headed to the nearby Hollywood sign, business lunches from film studios, and celebrities flying under the radar. In early 2020, the clientele started shifting to Gen Z girls and young women — some of whom bring cardboard cutouts of Styles for photos — and, in some cases, their parents.

Fahim, who had never heard of Styles, embraced the affiliation.

Harry Styles fans with their collections wristbands for the pop singer’s concerts they have attended, at the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 30, 2023. 

Now, the tip jar says “Harry Tips Here.” A sign depicted in a mural declares “The Coffee’s Out,” referring to the line in the song featuring Beachwood. And he and his staff are happy to take photos and answer fans’ questions about what Styles is said to have eaten (the Beachwood Scramble), and where he sat (the table at the center of the room, and the booth in the far right corner).

Someone on the staff monitors “the whole situation on Instagram and TikTok,” Fahim said. If Styles is in town — as he was for two weeks in the fall, when the cafe ran out of menu items and merchandise — they double up on staff and supplies.

On the Saturday of Styles’ concert run at the Forum, a line started forming outside the cafe an hour before opening. It included Emma Szumowski, 21, from Massachusetts, who stood with her parents, Laura and Steve McMahon. The concert she had gone to the previous evening was her sixth time seeing Styles. She had tickets for one more show in Los Angeles and two in Palm Springs that week.

“I get it, I’m a big Springsteen fan — I started following him around in ’84,” said Steve McMahon, 58, who, at his daughter’s request, had gotten up early to be second in line.

Harry Styles on a fan’s T-shirt at the Beachwood Cafe in Los Angeles, on January 27, 2023. 

Wait times were between two and three hours throughout the weekend. At one point Saturday, the diners inside the cafe broke out into a loud rendition of “Falling.” Before the wave of Styles fans, Fahim typically served 300 guests from Friday to Sunday; he now serves 1,000 on average. The locals still come, but they often grumble about the wait times and lack of parking — and if they see a line, they steer clear.

Most fans agreed that this was no longer a place where Styles was likely to set foot. This realization sometimes prompted fan conspiracy theories — did he mention the cafe because he knew it would send fans flocking there, and it was too painful a place to return because of its romantic history there? But even if that were the case, “it’s cool to envision him sitting in there being all sad and lonely,” said Bryn Langrock, 23.

And if Styles did dine at Beachwood Cafe again, Fahim says he knows what he would tell him: “Thank you”.

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