San Francisco

From bubble tea to virtual reality: 4 new businesses to check out in SoMa

Interested in checking out the freshest businesses to open in SoMa? From a gaming café to an augmented reality art exhibit, read on for a list of the newest places to open in this part of San Francisco.

Platform 248

248 Ninth St.

Photo: Dino H./Yelp

Platform 248 is a gaming-themed café located at 248 Ninth St. (between Tehama and Folsom streets). As we recently reported, the counter-service spot offers bubble tea, coffee, fried snacks and more, plus a selection of rentable video and board games.

Customers can pay a per-person fee to check out a game for up to three hours of play. The large wall of modern board game choices includes both competitive titles like Smallworld and cooperative experiences like Eldritch Horror, Zombicide and T.I.M.E. Stories. Larger parties can also rent private rooms.

The video game section of the café has both a Playstation 4 and a Nintendo Switch. There's also a small food menu, featuring fried snacks like popcorn chicken, cheese-stuffed pork chops and kimchi fried rice.

For a beverage to wash it down, try the signature "dirty" bubble tea with fresh mango or strawberry puree.

Yelp users have welcomed Platform 248, which currently holds four stars out of 68 reviews on the site.

"This place is clean and pretty. The games are still so new that you have to assemble them if no one's played them before," said Yelper Andrea T. "The boba was really good and came in a heavy-duty plastic cup, fancier than your typical boba cup. My favorite game was the Hello Kitty mahjong!"

And Yelper M. I. noted, "Trendy, bite-size food, private rooms, boba, music and games. Food and boba are decent. Good portion size for tapas-style dining."

Platform 248 is open from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Tuesday.)

Woodlands Pet Shop

201 Folsom St., Unit 105

Photo: Woodlands Pet Shop/Yelp

Woodlands Pet Shop is a pet store that recently opened as an addition to full-service grocery store Woodlands Market, as we previously reported. You can find its selection of food, toys, litter and other supplies for cats and dogs at 201 Folsom St., Unit 105 (between Main and Beale streets).

At present, the shop offers only high-end cat and dog products, including grooming tools, toys, regular and cannabidiol (CBD) treats, sprayable catnip and more. For dogs, you'll find clothes, shampoos and conditioners as well. (A list of food brands is available here; the selection of other products is listed here.)  

The pet shop's current rating of five stars out of three reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from patrons in its early days.

Yelper Maria C. praised the friendliness of the staff: "My pups and I were greeted by a very welcoming woman. She showed us around and [showed us] the cute sporting gear that had just arrived. Pricey, but that's typical of this neighborhood. We bought a bag of organic chicken treats, which my dogs loved."

Woodlands Pet Shop is open from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily.

Divine Yoga Studio

255 King St., Suite A

Photo: Yogi M./Yelp

Divine Yoga Studio is a new yoga spot located at 255 King St., Suite A (between Third and Fourth streets). 

The studio offers restorative, ashtanga and vinyasa yoga classes, as well as meditation-only classes. It also provides patrons with yoga mats, water and towels. 

Clients can purchase classes individually or in packs, and there is special pricing for new students. (You can check out the class schedule here.)

Early Yelp users are excited about the new studio, which currently holds 4.5 stars out of four reviews on the site.

"The instructors at this studio are really great! Since going to this studio, I have learned so many new yoga poses," wrote Yelper Priya M., who reviewed Divine Yoga Studio on November 11. "Julia and Kat keep things lively, with the right amount of challenge, and always provide tougher and easier alternatives."

And Erik D. noted, "Since the studio is a standalone location, the classes have a more intimate and less corporate feel. With rising rents in SF, it feels good to support a small yoga studio while also getting a more hands-on experience."

Divine Yoga Studio is open from 6 a.m.–noon and 4 p.m.–8:30 p.m. on Monday, 6 a.m.–9 a.m. and 4 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 6 a.m.–8:30 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, and 6 a.m.–9 a.m. on Saturday.


1025 Market St.

Photo: Vinkin Ken T./Yelp

Onedome is an interactive art gallery that provides "immersive experiences" designed in collaboration with new media and visual artists. Located at 1025 Market St., it charges admission to its exhibits, though it also has a free-to-enter lounge and café.

One current installation, The Unreal Garden, is described by the gallery an "immersive mixed reality experience where art comes to life." Participants encounter an augmented-reality world through the combination of virtual reality (VR) headsets, projection mapping and real-world sets.

The newest exhibit, called LMNL, has 14 interactive rooms and installations where "art magically responds to and is created by you." The rooms involve light and shadow, reflections or digital projections. (You can get tickets here.)

Yelp users are excited about Onedome, which currently holds 4.5 stars out of 22 reviews on the site.

Yelper Vince F. called the Unreal Garden "a cool augmented reality and interactive experience ... You wear an augmented reality headset that projects 3D digital art into a garden-like indoor space that you walk around. There's little frogs and such that you can interact with to make the art animate."

"Not only is this unlike anything I've ever done, but it made me want to come again," wrote Yelper Veronica C., who reviewed the installation on November 28. "They don't seem to be strict with time, and it wasn't crowded inside the exhibit. Don't forget to give the tilt brush a try!" 

Want to enter another world? Onedome is open from 4 p.m.–10 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, noon–10 p.m. on Wednesday, 4 p.m.–midnight on Friday, 10 a.m.–midnight on Saturday, and 10 a.m.–8 p.m. on Sunday.


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