For two decades, attorney Kat Stewart Anderson searched for an opportunity to invest in the Bayview.
“Ever since I talked to Willie Brown in about 1999 or 2000, I knew there would be a lot of opportunities here," she told Hoodline. When she asked the former mayor where she should buy property, he suggested Third Street, since a planned rail line was hoped to revitalize the area.
"I waited for seventeen years," said Anderson. "I wasn't able to afford anything in the Bayview until last year."
For the last few months, Anderson has worked with her business partner Carl Hall to restore a building at 5116 Third St. with plans to open a café called ‘word.’. Formerly a beauty salon and offices for a security company, ‘word.’ will occupy the 1,000-square-foot first floor.
Sited near long-standing businesses like Yvonne's Southern Sweets, G Mazzei & Sons Hardware and JJ’s Fish and Chicken, the eatery will start off as a weekday breakfast/lunch destination. In time, Anderson said she plans to apply for a beer and wine liquor license which will allow the space to add to the area's growing nightlife.
The café's name is inspired by Carl Hall’s history of being a journalist and writer, said Anderson.
“If I tell you something, I give you my word," she said. "Then there is just the urban dictionary definition of 'word,' meaning 'truth.' So we are in the pursuit of truth and authenticity and the basic wonderfulness of humanity, and we plan to maintain that one fine cup of coffee at a time.”
Customers can expect locally-sourced pastries, salads, and sandwiches, but Anderson said ‘word.’ will also be a destination for open mics, poetry readings, art shows and other expressions of the community's creativity.
The eatery is set to open in August, but Anderson are planning a soft opening on June 16th, and future customers will have a chance to check out the space throughout July.
“The idea of being involved with a neighborhood full of people who just want to create really appeals to me and I have met so many great people in the Bayview," said Anderson. "word. Café will be dedicated to the working class people of the neighborhood who have huge hearts and great stories to tell.”