Collection by Diana Budds

Coffee Break: San Francisco's Coffee Bar


When you walk into the Financial District's newest third-wave coffee hot spot, Coffee Bar, it may seem like you're waiting under the arch of a proscenium rather than in line for a piping hot latte. And that's the whole point. This second outpost of Coffee Bar isn't trying to be like its neighborhood original where people spend lazy Sunday afternoons (or camp out all day on their laptops); it's a stage for the process of making an espresso drink. "As the third wave movement grows, we're exploring how this experimentation affects cafe design in a deeper sense," says J. Hulett Jones, a principal at jones | haydu, the architecture firm that designed the space. "We're exploring alternative layouts which highlight the artistry that happens behind the counter." In the slideshow that follows, Jones gives us the run down on his design. All images © Bruce Damonte.

Located at 101 Montgomery Street, the FiDi outpost of Coffee Bar is the second collaboration between owners Luigi...
The space was originally a 500-square-foot storage room with concrete floors and a high ceiling.
Seating is noticeably absent from the interior, a conscious move.
In the less-than-500-square-foot space, 75 percent of the cafe is dedicated to prep space for the baristas.
"Conceptually, we've highlighted the interaction with the baristas as a theatrical experience," says Jones.
Here's another view of the interior.
The menu was custom-designed and inspired by retro train station signage.
Horizontal lights are interspersed throughout the folded geometric plane of the ceiling.
The teak-and-stainless-steel outdoor furniture is the Stratus collection from Thatcher and Shannon Davis at Selamat...