Welcome back, as we continue our 2013 Edition of Build-Outs of Summer. Last week we kicked things off by featuring an awesome sounding new cafe in Omaha, Nebraska, the brand new location of Beansmith Coffee. This week we’re featuring a bit more of a “big city” cafe: Coffee Bar SF‘s brand new spot in San Francisco’s Financial District. This will be the third location for Coffee Bar, a growing cafe destination in San Francisco serving coffee roasted by our friends and partners at Mr. Espresso, a family-owned roasting company based in Oakland (originally founded in 1978).
Mr. Espresso used to be synonymous with “old school Italian,” but that’s much less the case today. Along with “classic” espresso blends meant to echo what you might find in Italy, Mr. Espresso also roasts single origin offerings from noted places like Rwanda’s Buf Cafe and the Wote Konga wet mill in Yirgacheffe. They’ve also undergone something a brand redesign in recent months, with new packaging featuring distinctive and utterly Italian mid-century photography. Mr. Espresso and Coffee Bar are actively involved in the Bay Area Coffee Community (with whom we’re proud Flagship Elite Status Media Partners), and they throw a great BBQ party.
Coffee Bar’s two current locations are the best places in San Francisco to try out the new Mr. Espresso, and to that list, they’re preparing to add a third – projected to open at the end of July. Let’s see the build-out!
The following interview is as told to Sprudge by Luigi DiRuocco of Mr. Espresso.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
We’re located at 433 Kearney Street in the shadow of the Bank of American building, which is the tallest building in SF’s Financial District. The space was designed by the same award winning architects that designed our other two spaces, Jones | Haydu. Their work at our 101 Montgomery location earned them a prestigious Citation Award for Interiors from the American Institute of Architects.
Our new cafe has about 500 square feet of café space outfitted with two Strada MPs, two dual Fetco brewers, two Revel Systems iPad POS registers, grab and go refrigerator and retail shelving, and a pourover bar. The interior finishes are comprised of burnt wood and black steel counter tops. Just like 101 , the space is fitted to allow us to deliver coffee and espresso at high speeds (without getting too cray cray) just like our other FiDi location at 101 Montgomery.
What’s your approach to serving coffee?
It starts with 4 basic tenets: Quality, Consistency, Efficiency, and Customer Service. In short, these are things that we focus on that make customers happy and cause them to return for repeat business.
Beyond that, it also means having a menu that is accessible not only to the connoisseur but also the “gateway” coffee drinker. Our menu is split up into sections titled “basics” “specialty” and “coffee” – we do this to differentiate the experience, and also to make our guests comfortable.
When we do go sweet on drinks, we try to make sure they are done with integrity – in the case of our vanilla bean and caramel syrups, they are made in house and are delicious. We also offer two types of mochas and hot chocolates: one version of each using Guittard and the other “souped up” version using Recchiuti for a little higher price.
The drinks aren’t overly sweet, either. Our baristas are professionals, and they’re able to create a delicious balance of coffee flavor and our carefully chosen additional flavors.
Any machines, coffees, or special equipment lined up?
The cafe will feature dueling La Marzocco Strada MPs, two Fetco‘s for daily rotating drip coffee, and Kalita pourover single origin bar. In the near future will be offering a barrel aged coffee on the pourover bar.