A new coffee shop is coming to the Tenderloin from former Four Barrel employee and artist Brett Walker. Called "George and Lennie," the storefront will be opening up 277 Golden Gate Ave. (at Hyde) in the next few weeks.
Walker worked for Four Barrel for the past six years, so he's no stranger to the third wave coffee movement. For years he's wanted to open up his own shop, but never found quite the right partner. With real estate prices getting steeper, it was a huge risk to open up solo, but when he found the Tenderloin space, he knew he had to jump on it.
"I spent several evenings early on just hanging in the spot by myself and it just felt right," Walker said. "This location seemed like something I could do entirely on my own, plus the Tenderloin is a rad neighborhood. I am way more of a TL guy than a Marina or Noe Valley guy."
The coffee shop will be located on the ground floor of The Lofts at Seven, a new residential apartment building with 88 lofts and studios. The
building used to house site used to be home to KGO-TV Channel 7's West Coast broadcasting facilities.
Walker says that George and Lennie's will serve both Four Barrel and De La Paz coffee. Food options will be minimal and are still being worked out, but they'll represent "a little more than your average cafe," said Walker. He's also looking at serving a variety of types of drinks depending on the time of day, and plans to eventually file for a beer and wine license.
The coffee shop is still under construction, but an angled ash countertop, "guacamole green" accent walls, white subway tiles and at least some window bar seating are all in the works. Though things are still coming together, the space is nearing completion: Walker says he's hoping to open for business in early August, with a more formal opening party in September.
The name "George and Lennie" comes from Walker's favorite book, Of Mice and Men. "I am a big fan of Steinbeck, read him extensively as a kid and spent a good amount of time hanging out in some of the places he writes about," Walker told us. "There is also this big theme of fantasy and the future in Of Mice and Men. George and Lennie have these dreams about owning their own ranch and no longer having to work as ranch hands on other people's farms. This cafe is my own little future story similar to theirs."