Quantcast

Citing Rent Hike, SoMa's 'City Beer' Rolling Its Kegs To New Location

City Beer owners Beth and Craig Wathen. | Photo: Elaine Gavin/Hoodline
By Elaine Gavin - Published on October 20, 2017.

After 11 years on Folsom Street, City Beer is packing up its store and bar location, but SoMa's suds supporters need not worry; the shop is moving two blocks away to 1148 Mission Street.

“Like a lot of people in the city, rent went up considerably,” explained co-owner Craig Wathen. “At first it was scary and frustrating,  but we took a month to rally and we decided we were going to work it out.”

Inside City Beer's Folsom Street shop.

Craig and his partner/wife Beth are currently solidifying a contract for the new place, which they will own.

“Feeling like you’ve really built something and then feeling like it can all be taken away from you, it was hard," said Craig. "We don’t want to do that again."

Now that they've decided to own their commercial space, "there’s some security,” he added. The current staff will move to the new location and a few more folks will likely be hired to cater to the new demand.

City Beer's new location at 1148 Mission St.

The new City Beer is the former location of the English restaurant The Coachman, which SF Gate reported closed in 2015. Although the Wathens plan to add their own style, the renovation needed will be minimal.

“We’re trying to capture the same comfy, cozy atmosphere we’ve created here but take it to the next level,” said Beth. The new store will be significantly larger than the current space: 4,500 square feet, compared to 1,800.

“The new place is quite sophisticated,” noted Craig, adding that former owner Charles Phan "did a great job. We just want to make it ours.” The Wathens are currently talking to designers and plan to offer private events, tasting and "beer talks” in a quieter, separate area.

The Mission Street space is attached to the SoMa Grand apartment complex and has its own entrance, so the Wathens are developing food options that "are going to be very complimentary to beer," said Craig.

“One of the requests was to be able to grab food to go," Beth recalled. "The residents really loved that option. We’re thinking a lot of what the neighborhood wants.”

There may be a week or two where City Beer closes for the move, which is on track to happen in April or early May.

“We want to have a really special last Beer Week in this space,” said Beth. Hours on Mission Street will be the same as the current store (noon to 10pm) with the hopes that they can extend closing time once they get settled.


The Wathens, who live in the city and have two small children, said they're grateful to continue to be a part of the San Francisco's small business community.

"Staying in the neighborhood is just another way to solidify our commitment to the city," said Beth.

About 3 hours ago
San Francisco Civic Center Mid-Market Tenderloin

Tenderloin's La Cocina food hall prepares for spring opening

The Tenderloin’s Municipal Marketplace, led by Mission-based nonprofit La Cocina, expects a soft opening this spring starting with take-out and delivery options, after facing construction and safety delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

About 17 hours ago
San Francisco Design District Potrero Hill

Amazon submits plans for proposed six-acre warehouse at Potrero Hill Recology site

The online retailer hopes to demolish everything that’s currently on seven lots along Seventh Street, and build a three-story delivery and distribution station. Read More

1 day ago
San Francisco Divisadero Fillmore Hayes Valley Lower Haight

Bay Area Tigray community hosts teach-in about ongoing crisis in Ethiopia today

The Bay Area Tigray Community is hosting a virtual event this afternoon to raise awareness of the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. Read More

Feb 24, 2021
San Francisco

The Cliff House's mini-museum of SF artifacts is up for auction and history buffs hope some of it stays together

A local group of history buffs and conservators is hoping that the collection — at least some of it — can remain together and available for public view, even after the Cliff House potentially becomes a different restaurant. Read More