Market Street Events Venue The Village To Open Public Cafe Next Year

Word on the street is that a fresh crop of eateries and watering holes will soon be popping up all over Mid-Market. While many lips are sealed until leases are squared away, we've gotten to the bottom of one rumor: a cafe is in the works at The Village, the private event space that's celebrating its one-year anniversary at 969 Market St. this month.

The Village is the latest venture from Jonathan Rowe, who previously founded Madrone Studios, a local event management and design firm. With 17,000 square feet over three floors, it's in a prime location: right next door to the future Market Street Place shopping center, and directly across from the residential development and hotel proposed for 950-974 Market Street, which could include a rooftop bar, beer garden, cafe and juice bar and more. In the meantime, however, the event venue's growing staff seems to be struggling to find a bite to eat in the neighborhood.

"We decided to open the cafe because our staff has grown from three to 14 in the past year, and we are always looking for food options during lunchtime in the area," said Shaina Tsan, The Village's marketing and events manager, in an email. "I also have been attending city meetings to get a sense of what this neighborhood needs and wants, and we've got the consensus that Mid-Market wants public-facing facets. We donated our space to help out with Market Street prototyping, and are really into ideas such as that."

The cafe, which will be open to the public, is still in the R&D phase, with an opening slated for fall 2016. A chef has already been chosen: Julio Aguilera, the executive chef at Divisadero's La Urbana, is developing the menu around "artisanal micro-roaster coffee," Tsan said. The cafe will serve breakfast and lunch items, like brioche egg sandwiches, salads, and fresh-squeezed juice.

Outdoor seating space on Market Street is also in the planning stages, and will likely debut after the opening, Tsan added.

An exclusive Charli XCX concert at The Village, sponsored by Tumblr. (Photo: The Village)

While The Village has been making headlines lately for hosting swanky tech-industry parties, serving Mid-Market's existing community is its first priority, said Tsan. "I spearhead all of our community involvement on the basis that if a business went down tomorrow, would the community care? I believe deeply in that sentiment, and as an event space for people to network, learn and celebrate, it's such an important factor as a business here in Mid-Market."

Since the private venue won't debut this public-facing project until late next year, The Village is currently developing an events series that will sponsor muralists to create art in the area this winter. This spring, they also launched The Village Impacts, an ongoing series of workshops, seminars, and unique events that aim to foster partnerships among Bay Area technology, arts and science communities.

We'll keep you informed as The Village announces opportunities for neighbors to get involved in these community engagement programs, and as the cafe takes shape.

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Market street event venue the village to open public cafe next year