Eats and Beers

Philz Coffee Raises $15-25m, Becomes a "Startup"

Whenever I read about local coffeeshop news in TechCrunch, I generally expect the news to not be good.  But in Philz' case, it might not actually be so bad.

According to TechCrunch, Philz raised over 3.75 million cups of Tesora worth of money to expand the 13-shop operation outside the Bay Area:

Today, Philz Coffee is adding some growth capital of its own. Although the company isn’t ready to disclose the exact amount, [Phil] Jaber says that the company has raised an eight-figure round that’s on the lower end of the spectrum. From what we can gather from sources, it appears to be in the $15 to $25 million range. The lead investor in the round is Summit Partners, and as a result of the firm’s investment, Summit Managing Director Greg Goldfarb will be taking a seat on the startup’s board of directors.

It's been a helluva story for Phil and his emerging startup.  Founded 25 years ago as a modest corner store at 24th and Folsom, he spent decades perfecting his secret coffee blends. Then in 2003, after decades of limited growth in the corner store market, Phil pivoted the company launched Philz Coffee in the same location.  Philz soon brought on rockstar Silicon Valley CEO “his son”, opened over a dozen more stores, and cemented partnerships with Virgin America and Facebook, giving the small neighborhood coffee house the totally reasonable $40-70 million dollar valuation they have today.

Of course, one of the best features of Philz was never the coffee itself, but rather his shop felt like the kind of welcoming, worn-in den that only an old artist would open.  How they'll be able to replicate that freewheeling culture which they've become know for across hundreds of stores remains to be seen.

[Photo by Ed Schipul]

Esta Noche In Trouble

Famed Latino queer bar (and all-around fantastic comedy venue) Esta Noche is in danger of closing.  As they put it, “Last year the Board of Supervisors made changes to laws that can make it harder for small businesses to afford their permitting and license fees. Unfortunately, Esta Noche will have to pay for all their licenses in one bulk payment, which is already one month late.”  Now they have two weeks to pay off a $9,000 debt to the city or they won't be able to stay open.

Taking a page from Adobe Books' fundraising success, the 16th Street club has an Indiegogo campaign up and running.  And on the 18th, “local queer DJs, drag performers, and politicians” will come together to party and fundraise for the venue.

Let's hope they pull it off, because the neighborhood probably doesn't need another Thieves bar…

[via Eater]

Another Long Line For Empty Calories Headed For 24th

The Crème Brûlée Man, the purveyor of desserts disproportionally popular with social media professionals, connoisseurs of San Francisco's litany of beigeist eateries, and people who just plain like sugar lit on fire, has announced he's opening a new shop on 24th Street.



Gentrification Conspiracy Theory of the Week, Divisadero Edition: Bi Rite opens, Da Pitt closes. Check Mate, NOPA?

Just over a month after Bi-Rite Divisadero opened it's tiny, velvet roped doors and pay-by-the-hour parking service, neighborhood BBQ staple Da Pitt has been served an eviction notice. The full rebranding of the Divisadero strip from “Western Addition” to “NOPA” is hereby complete. Haighteration has the scoop on the eviction. Get it while you still can. 

Pic via Haighteration.

Medjool's Roof Deck to Become a Latin Street Food Cocktail Lounge Buzzword Something Something

Remember when Medjool had a roof deck that we all hung out on top of on warm summer night?  Me neither.  But the folks at Lolinda hope to revitalize the roof, bringing us a most buzzable spot to squander away our evenings. SF Magazine has the details:

Everyone would probably be relaxing in a rooftop restaurant on this glorious Monday, so let’s talk about Lolinda. Since Adriano Paganini opened the restaurant in August, customers have constantly asked when the notorious roof deck will swing back into action. No one has been up there since Medjool closed in early 2012, but we’ve known for a while that Paganini had something special in store. Late last week, he revealed that the roof will be called El Techo de Lolinda, offering a new menu of Latin street food and classic Latin cocktails like mojitos. El Techo will be open for dinner every night of the week, and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The whole space has gotten a major overhaul—apparently with some rather fancy and amazing Australian heat lamps.

[Thanks, Sam!]

Bender's Is Hosting A Monthly Cheese Club And This Is Very Exciting News


Queso here's the deal: Bender's is now hosting a Stinky Cheese Club on the third Tuesday of every month (tonight! 5pm!) because Bender's is a magical place staffed by beautiful geniuses who were put on this earth to make us happy. Here are the details from the Facebook invite

The Cheese Stands Alone!

Every 3rd Tuesday join Tuula and Mikey for the monthly meeting of the STINKY CHEESE CLUB.

Come down, bring some cheese (or crackers, meats, pickles, etc…) and get a free can of PBR or Well Drink, and enjoy the spread…

There you have it! Come provolone or bring a friend, but be sure to pitch in your favorite wedge. Either way its guaranteed to brie a grate evening. 

Silly Danish Brewery Still Thinks Mission Kids Are Called Hipsters

Gray sends us this alluring photo of a crowded refrigerator and a quick review of Evil Twin's unfortunately named Mission Hipster Ale: “It's like a typical Dolores kid: brightly colored, proud on the outside, but somewhat boring and bitter on the inside.”

(For what it's worth, the brewery describes their creation a bit more favorably: “This super-exclusive, counter-culture pale ale is dedicated to ‘The Mish’ aka Mission District in San Francisco. It’s an homage to skinny jeans, tote-bags, fixie bikes with drop handlebars and Dolores Park.”)

Anyway, if you're looking for some somewhat boring and bitter beer, you can grab a pack at City Beer Store in San Francisco's 'NoMi' aka North of the Mission neighborhood.

Rite Spot Cafe Backhandedly Makes NY Times' 10 Favorite SF Bars List

In an obvious attempt to gin up their alt cred, the New York Times recently swung through the Mission during an otherwise “old news” San Francisco bar crawl. (Unless you haven't heard of Vesuvio and Tosca, in which case it is most definitely new news.)  The result?  Rite Spot, a beloved but thankfully sparsely trafficked bar, made their favorites list.  And their enthusiasm jumped off the page:

Rite Spot Cafe looks like a white tablecloth Italian restaurant about to breathe its last.

Normally I'd criticize them for this sorry observation, but if anyone knows anything about having one foot in the grave, it's The Times.

Does this mean fancy, borderline-discerning Times readers will start flocking to an our favorite Italian restaurant that serves $4 whiskey shots?  Is Rite Spot over? (Also, did I really just link to a clip from Portlandia? Can someone start a petition to have me banned from life?)  We can only hope not.

[via Grub Street | Photo by Ariel Dovas]

Alcohol Claims Lives of 50% of Curry Up's Windows

Curry Up Now has been blinding Valencia passersby with their ample lighting for three weeks now, and they've already endured two instances of “drunk fools” making a deconstructed knuckle/glass fusion plate with their front window.  The chain restaurant seems satisfied with blaming boozed up hooligans with the destruction, but we can't help but think if they've served one to many vegetarians meat.

[Thanks for the tip, JM!]