Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on January 21, 2022
Castro Italian restaurant Poesia set to expand with cafe at Réveille Coffee spacePhoto: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The Castro's 13-year-old Italian restaurant Poesia Osteria Italiana (4072 18th St.) is set to expand with a cafe inside the space formerly occupied by Réveille Coffee at 4076 18th St.

Poesia owner Francesco d'Ippolito tells Hoodline that his goal is to open Poesia Cafe by mid-March, pending permitting and approval through the city.

Hoodline readers will recall that Réveille closed last year after seven years in the Castro.

"It seems like the perfect extension of Poesia," said d'Ippolito. "The restaurant has been really successful in the last year even though we had to go through the pandemic."

Poesia Cafe will open in mid-March at 4076 18th St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


While the space was already set up for a cafe, d'Ippolito says they're currently remodeling the interior.

In order to make the space feel new, d'Ippolito has hired an interior designer to remodel both the interior of Poesia restaurant and the new cafe.

"It's been the same interior for 13 years since Poesia opened in 2008," said d'Ippolito. "The idea is to give a new fresh look to the restaurant and move some of Poesia's classic pieces to the cafe."

"The former cafe was mostly wood, black and white, and cement," added d'Ippolito. "We're bringing a lot of warm colors and tones."

Remodeling is currently underway at Poesia restaurant. | Photo: Scott Levkoff/Instagram


During the day, d'Ippolito says Poesia Cafe will operate as a classic Italian cafe with a small menu offering Poesia's in-house baked quality desserts, pastries, and sweets. For lunch, the cafe will offer freshly baked bread, salads, and sandwiches, all made using the small kitchen in the back of the cafe.

Then at 5 p.m., d'Ippolito says the cafe will close and become the extension of Poesia restaurant.

Poesia Cafe will be adding a beer and wine license with plans to have a wine bar in the evening for people who are waiting for a table upstairs, or customers who just want a light appetizer.

During the pandemic, Poesia added a back patio which also connects to the new cafe space. During the day, customers will be able to sit on the patio with their coffee and snacks.

In the evening, the entrance to the patio will be through the cafe instead of having customers walk through the narrow space in Poesia's kitchen.

Poesia's back patio. | Photo: Rodney Pruitt/Instagram


"We'll keep that for our VIPs," said d'Ippolito. "Some people love it, the feeling of the kitchen. When Mayor London Breed visited Poesia, d'Ippolito said she loved the idea going through the kitchen and even commented that they should keep it.

With Poesia restaurant currently on vacation until February 3, d'Ippolito is unsure whether the new back patio system will be up and running by that time.

"I felt like going through the kitchen was not a sustainable long-term solution," said d'Ippolito. "When the cafe became available, it felt like this was a big opportunity."

d'Ippolito said things lined up perfectly as he was able to negotiate a good lease with the landlord who owns both spaces.

Reveille had temporarily shuttered over the summer while it underwent mold remediation. According to d'Ippolito, the landlord completed the work in October. d'Ippolito said the issue was caused by a broken pipe in the floor above the cafe.

Poesia Cafe plans to be open seven days a week, but due to issues finding enough staff d'Ippolito says it will start with five days a week. Poesia restaurant is also closed twice a week due to staffing shortages.