Mazarine Coffee, a beautifully designed new multiroaster coffee bar with many of the accoutrements du jour opened last month in downtown San Francisco, on Market Street between Geary and O’Farrell.
Named after the oldest library in Paris, Mazarine is the ambitious debut coffee project of native Iranian Hamid Rafati, who moved to the Bay Area in 1997 to study engineering at UC Berkeley and left his engineering career behind in 2013.
Rafati says it is in part the combination of art and science that draws him to coffee, and prior to opening Mazarine, he studied the coffee retail trade through education sessions with venerable SoCal roaster/retailer Klatch Coffee. Klatch’s Heather Perry led barista training for the shop, where Rafati has employed Paul O’Day as head barista, and former Barefoot Coffee Roasters operations manager Monica Hill as general manager.
Mazarine’s coffee menu debuted with pourovers and espresso drinks with coffees from Klatch and San Francisco’s own Ritual Coffee Roasters. Rafati says more roasters may be added to the fold as the shop and its clientele develop.
Stuff that’s not coffee is also not an afterthought at Mazarine. A sandwich and salad menu has been developed in part by Justin Nilson of the restaurant consultancy Soup to Cake, also from the Bay Area. Sweet and savory pastries are available from Emeryville’s Starter Bakery, and the drink program extends to alcoholic drinks, with two beers on tap, four by the bottle, and four wines poured by the glass.
Boor Bridges Architecture, who’s impressive cafe portfolio includes The Mill, Equator Mill Valley and Sightglass on 20th, led the design of the shop, responding heavily to the association with the historic Paris library. The 32-seat, 1,500-square foot space is replete with natural light against surfaces of marble, tile, wood and glass. Helping define the space are tiled alcoves with a blue hue that Boor Bridges suggests mimics library shelving.