San Francisco-based Coffee Cultures has opened its second location, in the specialty-coffee-heavy SoMa district at 9th and Mission Streets. The new spot provides a more spacious format and an expanded range of food and beverage offerings than the local company’s original bar in the Financial District.
“There was just a lot more space to work with,” said Coffee Cultures founder Jason Michael Paul, the entrepreneur and San Francisco native who first founded the establishment simply called Coffee Bar in 2007 and then opened the first Coffee Cultures bar in 2013.
The SoMa Coffee Cultures officially opened with a public party last week. “I’ve opened about five locations but I’ve never had a grand opening party,” Paul told Daily Coffee News the day prior to the event. “I’ve been pretty excited about that.”
Like its predecessor, Coffee Cultures SoMa will prepare and serve coffees provided by Counter Culture Coffee, which opened its first West Coast roastery in Emeryville last year. Paul said the opening of a closer-by roastery has served to deepen the relationship between the two companies with the hands-on assistance of Counter Culture’s Katie Carguilo and even better access to Counter Culture’s coffee selections.
Two La Marzocco GB5 machines with a custom black matte finish sit atop the new location’s bar. The coffee program includes a straightforward espresso menu, a drip of the day and seasonal pourovers. While still getting settled into the new digs, Paul expects the new location to soon offer full breakfast and lunch options as well, created by chef Alex Marsh, in addition to the soft-serve ice creams already available at the original bar.
San Francisco sommelier Andrew Dombrowski is curating a wine list, while a selection of craft beers is also available. Sweets from local bakeries Patisserie Philippe and Anthony’s Cookies will be served, as will be charcuterie plates later in the day.
Large brick walls and commissioned works from muralist David Burke immediately set the location apart from its counterparts in the busy downtown district, with local firm Chen Design Associates leading the design that was built out by Vokic Architecture. “In terms of look and feel, it’s different [than the first],” Paul said. “The space for the original location was designed for a fast-paced experience, but this is more of a destination location, somewhere you can go on the weekend if you want, and just read a book all day.”
Paul said Coffee Cultures may be looking to break ground for a new location in Portland, Ore., as early as 2017, but he said any future retail growth is likely to follow a more deliberate pace. Said Paul, “The trajectory would be to continue on into the Northwest and stay in California.”