Blue Bottle Coffee sets sights on 7th, 8th cafes in downtown SF

Blue Bottle Coffee sets sights on 7th, 8th cafes in downtown SFBlue Bottle is targeting 199 Sutter St. | Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline
Nathan Falstreau
Published on January 30, 2019

When Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee sold 68 percent of its business to international conglomerate Nestlé in 2017, CEO Bryan Meehan said that he was excited "to take a long-term approach to becoming a global leader in specialty coffee." 

But while Blue Bottle has expanded its footprint everywhere from Miami to Boston to Tokyo, it's also still opening lots of locations in San Francisco — many of them in the downtown corridor.

The coffee purveyor now has 10 locations in San Francisco proper, six of them in the Financial District and eastern SoMa. Its latest outpost just opened at 168 2nd St. (at Mission) earlier this month. Now, two more appear to be on the way: one to the Financial District, the other to Jackson Square. 

Photo: Christopher Michel/Flickr

Veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. was the first to spot one of the new spaces, at 909 Montgomery St. in the Jackson Square Historic District. So far, he says, the shop's still in its early stages, and no work has commenced inside. But Department of Building Inspection public records reveal that the new Blue Bottle has been in the works since at least October.

Most of the construction appears to be upgrades to the space's plumbing and electrical infrastructure. No structural changes are planned, but wall partitions will be added. Planning Department documents indicate a change-of-use authorization will also be required to move forward.

Tipster Al noted that the new location is just beyond the border with North Beach, which bans formula retail businesses (chains with more than 11 worldwide locations). "It's in that area without them crossing into [the neighborhood]," he said. 

909 Montgomery St. | Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Al also reports that a new Blue Bottle outpost is on the way to the heart of the FiDi, taking over the former Bread & Cocoa space at 199 Sutter St. (at Kearny).

The only public record currently tying Blue Bottle to the address is a Department of Building Inspection permit issued at the end of October, for a "non electric projecting double-faced sign" that reads "Blue Bottle Coffee."

An additional permit filed on September 25 does not list the coffee roaster by name, but indicates "interior altercation of coffee shop at ground level" is underway. A third permit request hints at outdoor seating possibly joining the mix. 

A Blue Bottle representative declined to comment on the two projects, including a potential timeline for opening. As always, we'll keep an eye on these spots and report back with updates as warranted. 

Thanks to Al M. for the tips! If you've seen something new in the neighborhood, text your tips and photos to (415) 200-3233, or email [email protected]. If we use your info in a story, we'll give you credit.