SLO coffee shop closes to reflect on sexual misconduct allegations

April 4, 2022

Julian Contreras

By BEN DI GUGLIELMO and KAREN VELIE

Amid allegations of sexual misconduct against an owner, Kin Coffee Bar in San Luis Obispo closed over the weekend to “reflect and reorganize,” according to a sign on the door. In addition, owner Julian Contreras is handing management of the company over to his girlfriend and the Kin Coffee Facebook page is disabled.

Last week, Ash Rianne accused Contreras and his friend Nate Abate of sexually assaulting her and an unnamed friend in Contreras’ bedroom in 2012, in several Instagram posts. Abate was arrested in 2012 on charges of statutory rape and digital penetration, in an unrelated case. He eventually pled to false imprisonment, according to court records.

Abate owns Nate’s Barber and Hair Design in Atascadero.

Rianne’s shocking accusation quickly blew up across social media, with thousands of users liking and sharing the original post. In the following days, Rianne proceeded to post screenshots she claims to have received from anonymous accounts who reported having similar experiences with both Contreras and Abate.

A group of five local businesses responded by announcing the “Keep the change fundraiser,” in which your change will be used to provide legal support for the victims, according to Blackwater clothing boutique’s Instagram page.

“In wake of their bravery, we need your help to provide legal support for the 15+ women coming forward with their stories of sexual abuse from two local business owners in SLO County,” Blackwater posted on Instagram. “Please donate your change in support to get their justice they deserve.”

Contreras denied any affiliation between Kin Coffee and Abate in a lengthy Instagram post that says Kin Coffee “welcomes anyone regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion (or lack thereof), or economic status.”

“Kin Coffee Bar has never had any affiliation with Nate Abate,” according to the Kin Coffee Instagram post. “We do not tolerate any sort of malicious behavior. I, myself, will take time to address these matters personally for the safety of the staff and the people involved. This statement is in no way trying to invalidate the feelings of any victims. You all are heard and there will be accountability.”

In his post, Contreras announces plans to donate $3,000 to RISE, a nonprofit that serves victims of sexual assault.

Sidecar, a cocktail bar and restaurant in SLO, condemned Kin Coffee’s post.

“This post from Kin is a vapid attempt at virtue signaling in the hope that people fall for the lies…because he uses buzz words,” Sidecar posted on Instagram. “He uses abusive, manipulative language in the hope that we, the normal, working people of the world, will pity him.”

Kin Coffee is currently closed, with a sign on the door: “The staff at Kin have decided to take this weekend to reflect and reorganize due to recent events. We’ll work our way towards a solution that honors, validates, and uplifts this community. Thank you for understanding.”

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Eyes Everywhere

I hope that RISE will return that $3,000 check. That’s hush money.


obispan

I will not be going to work for the next few days to “reflect and reorganize”. I have done nothing wrong, but need to take time off to support the victims. And although I have don’t have the $3,000 in my budget for RISE at the moment, I will consider a more realistic, guilt-free, and modest contribution as should we all.


cinw

The public response to “destroy” Julian Contreras by ruining his business is a Lynch mob mentality and it is destroying the employees. My daughter Ryn has worked at Kin coffee bar for 2 1/2 years and has pored her heart into making it what it is today. She and the other employees are heart broken and jobless now. Why punish them? Strangers have run into the building yelling expletives at them. Artists are taking their art down from the walls. Back off and let the law handle it from here. If he is guilty he will be punished. Geesh. I thought the people of SLO were progressive. This response has taken society back 200 years.


unusualsuspect

And these are strictly allegations…. But no, the mob wants to destroy numerous lives in the vein of “justice”. Dozens of 1 star reviews from people who probably haven’t even been there. Shameful.


MarioLuigi

Destroy numerous lives? How is losing a low skill underpaying job at a sexual predator’s coffee shop a bad thing? Finding a new job is not an insurmountable task and probably way easier than living with memories of being raped.


Budd Fugger

Unusual suspects doesn’t have a job so doesn’t have to worry about their life being destroyed. lolol Ignore them and support victims of sexual assault!


kevin rise

I wouldn’t work for a rapist, would you? Is a BS minimum wage barista job hard to come by? No, I was one for 8 years. Pitty party BS.


unusualsuspect

That’s pretty dang unsympathetic to the employees who likely didn’t know a thing about it. Jobs may be easy for you to get, not for everyone. Do you honestly even know for sure your boss isn’t “hiding” something? No. You don’t. Go looking, and you’ll find it.


Budd Fugger

lolol


FoxtrotYankee

You want your daughter to work under the purview and for the profit of what appears to be a serial rapist?


Perhaps you should re-evaluate your priorities as a parent — for example, keeping your child away from rapists.


jdchem

I am enjoying pondering what seems to be your idea of progressive.


obispan

There are plenty of jobs, jobs here, jobs there, jobs everywhere. And jobs doing exactly what you do now either under new management or for a competitor.


slo-to-load

It sounds like we now have some insight on why the owner’s store and car were vandalized a couple years back! I definitely do NOT condone vigilante justice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of the many victims or one of their friends/families. https://www.facebook.com/groups/267209473812706/posts/583124398887877/


Zoiebowie

Sounds like a legal matter. Not a social media matter for everyone and their grandpa to be involved.


paragon

Information is power. You really think the dirty deeds of those d-bags should be censored and kept secret from the public, with only the all powerful DA deciding if it’s worthy of his time or should just be swept under the rug? Are you also against the Megan’s law site? It’s only natural to want to know if some sexual predator is running a coffee shop before you take your family there.


MarioLuigi

It can be both. Duh.