Bay Area/ San Francisco
Published on September 17, 2014
Philz Coffee Could Be Moving To Castro StreetInside Philz Coffee's Castro location. (Photo flickr/Seek New Travel)
Philz Coffee at 4023 18th Street is arguably one of the best pour-over coffee shops in the Castro. If you've ever been inside, you've probably noticed that the space, tucked in front of Sit and Spin laundromat, is pretty small. Early morning coffee connoisseurs can speak to how busy and cramped the place can get, with awkward shuffles between the ordering station, the checkout register and the tiny waiting space all part of customers' daily morning rituals.
Now, Philz owners are hoping to change that with a move to a bigger space. According to a conditional use permit filed with the San Francisco Planning Department, the current location of Supervisor David Chiu's California Assembly campaign headquarters  at 549 Castro Street could be the next home to the Castro's Philz.

Philz Coffee project coordinators have gone to several neighborhood organizations, including the the Castro Merchants and the Corbett Heights Neighbors group, to explain their planned move from the 18th Street location to Castro Street. They're hoping to get community support as the SF Planning Department decides whether or not to approve their conditional use permit.

The mostly local coffee chain operates more than 10 locations throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and under the formula retail rules, it must therefore go through the community planning process to get approval for a new location. No date has yet been set by the Planning Department for the conditional use hearing.

The Bay Area Reporter's Matthew Bajko attended the Castro Merchants meeting and spoke with David Grey, a project manager for the new Philz location. "It is still going to be the smallest Philz," Grey told him, "but will be twice as big as the 18th Street Philz."

Bajko noted that there might be some risk in moving to a new Castro location, as many residents have expressed displeasure with the amount of coffee shops opening up in the neighborhood. Grey responded that, if the permit were not approved, Philz may have to say goodbye to the Castro. "It’s possible we would leave the Castro; that store is definitely compromised for us, but we may talk to our current landlord about extending the lease."

With caffeine options hitting the tipping point in the neighborhood, should Philz gain community support for their move to a bigger space? Chime in with a comment if you've got thoughts.