We reported a few months back that Illy Coffee was going to be opening up one of their cafe locations (the second in San Francisco and ninth in the US) right here in the Castro. On Monday, the burgeoning cafe chain soft-opened their Castro location at 2349 Market Street, next to Rolo. We stopped in to take a few photos and to get some details on the amenities.
The cafe offers plenty of seating with a large meeting table at the front of the space and couches nearby. Short, two-seater cafe tables line the wall going towards the back of the cafe opposite the coffee bar. An L-shaped bench with tables, soft cushions and pillows rounds out the seating options in the back of the cafe. Free WiFi is available for all with or without purchase. The cafe will also offer an outdoor patio accessible from the back of the cafe. The space is closed off right now, but the store manager let us know that the outdoor space should be open in the next few months after city inspection and will offer seating for about ten people.
The cafe offers a lot in food and pastry options. Slices of cake, bowls of fruit, croissants, muffins and cookies should pair well with the teas and coffee options they offer. A digital menu on the wall behind the bar offers plenty of pour over coffee selections. Illy will also offer a menu of breakfast and lunch panini sandwiches with small bites for the evening. The full menu should be released next week. The manager mentioned that one of the breakfast sandwiches would be a lox-style panini with cucumbers. Sounds yummy.
The cafe is also not shy about displaying the company's wares for sale. The front of the store shows off the brands espresso machines and accessories in addition to custom espresso settings by Liu Wue, Kiki smith, and Daniel Buren. Custom Illy espresso cups sporting the Illy logo or a vibrant color design are also on display in the back.
The staff is very friendly and the space is bright and welcoming. Consider stopping in to grab some caffeine and say hello to the newest member of the Castro's coffee collective.