It seems this hipster coffee trend is continuing to grow with the opening of Coffee Bar on Montgomery Street in the Financial District of San Francisco. This place has all the makings of a hipster coffee shop. The store has a crisp, clean design with a simple menu and serves up mainly traditional espresso drinks, small cups of coffee, and a simple selection of pastries delivered daily from a local bakery. All the employees wear black shirts, indigo jeans, and occasionally grey vests or other accoutrements. Their is a certain air of condescension coming from behind the counter, but much more understated than their Valencia Street counter parts. Oh, and did I mention the coffee is really f-ing good?
My main critique of the store is that instead of trying to do something new, it basically copied and synthesized various trends in cafes and threw it in haphazardly to the financial district. Probably the most blaring difference between walking into say Fourbarrel at 4 in the afternoon on the weekend, and Coffee Bar at 8 am is that you are simply going to get a different crowd. This isn’t your get coffee and linger to soak up the ambiance type of coffee shop. Instead it is in and out, and on your way back to the office. Another difference is all the fun homeless people of downtown SF spicing up the urban ambiance.
Being that this place is right next to my office I go there from time to time with my coworkers. One of them observed recently, ” Is there some sort of requirement to work at these hipster coffee shops that you have to have an ambiguous sexual orientation.” Haha, so true.
Another interesting attempt at fitting this hipster aesthetic is this faux-Instagram photo blown up and posted above the door inside.
It shows an older white man in business clothes sitting on a financial district rooftop looking out over the bay. I find it a little strange to take this virtual world aesthetic of Instagram and place it in your store as “artwork”. (As a side note, I love Instagram and you can follow me here under the name missionhipsters.)