Andrew Barnett, formerly of Ecco Caffe, approached envelope a+d to work on his espresso bar after getting to know the firm through his curatorial role in the Coffee Pavilion that we designed for Slow Food Nation. Barnett had located a scrappy space behind Duc Loi Supermarket in the Mission, and he teamed up with Anthony Myint of Mission Chinese Food to bring waffles and salads into the mix. envelope’s challenge was to fit the pedigree and ambition of Barnett and Myint, both forerunners in their fields, into 300 square feet and, on a budget to match.
In order to clearly demarcate Barnett and Myint’s distinct concepts, we employed a material change at the diagonal seam that is created by the perpendicular walls. The food concept, constrained by health standards for kitchens, was kept cool and utilitarian through the use of stainless steel, white ceramic tile and concrete. The espresso bar, anchored by a leggy oak service platform, was warmed to match its offerings with a honey-hued oak plywood wall in a hexagonal pattern designed and fabricated in-house. A brick red steel window frame opens to the side street, creating a ledge for people to stand and lean as they look onto the hubbub of the Mission.