Philz Dedicates New Coffee Blend to SF's Outlaw Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

Sheriff Ross “Mugshot” Mirkirami is finally getting the recognition that he deserves, and it's not in the form of an impeachment hearing all about him either.  VC-funded startup Philz Coffee has just dedicated their latest brew to the Sheriff's Department.

Called “Ten-Eight,” the police code for “in service,” we're told the blend packs a mean punch when taken straight.  And for the real Ross special, you order two 10-8s, thus making a 10-16 — the code for “domestic disturbance.”

UPDATE: Phil writes us denying this was specifically named after Mirkirami, telling us the blend was made with “no one particular person in mind.”

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]

Blue Bottle Takes Another Stab at Opening in the Mission

After 2010's controversial and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at opening a Blue Bottle in Dolores Park, the ever hot SF coffee chain is fixing to open a cafe next week at the corner of 18th and Alabama, inside the Heath Ceramics factory.  Assuredly welcome news to all the folks who live and work out in the boonies of the Inner Mission, who no longer have to walk all the way to Valencia for a fix.

(Also, the factory itself, which is in the process of opening now, is of interest.  As dvtdl? points out, “not only are they bringing manufacturing jobs to the area, but they are also opening four artist studio spaces, an event space, [and] a shop.”)

Missing Boar Head Replaced with Whimsical Collage

Ever since we brought you breaking coverage of the boar head theft at Four Barrel back in April, we've been carefully monitoring the situation for new developments.  After all, with only three boars, shouldn't the place change their name to Three Boar-el?  No?  What, that was a good pun.  Stop hitting me.

As of this week the cafe's gallery was refreshed with new work by Aaron Rodriguez.  With the new art, the dotted line where the boar head once stood is no longer empty — it's now filled with a whimsical collage.

This, folks, means there is hope. If an artist can use that space, who's to say their art itself cannot be an actual boar head mounted on a wooden shield?  The act of artistic re-boarment would not only restore Four Barrel's rightful fourth boar, but would also make the artist a hero to coffee nerds who make snarky comments about their shitty iPhone photos in local blogs.

Get on it, artists.  We're counting on you.

Blantant Theft of Four Barrel's Boar Head Confirms Coffee Drinkers "Just Don't Give a Fuck"

The laughing at the end of the video suggests this was some sort of April Fools' prank, although the video was uploaded to the You Tubes on March 31st.  No matter; the fact that a bunch of fancy coffee drinkers will literally just stand around as a bunch of dapper white dudes sporting ski masks climb a ladder and lift a dead beast of the wall, waiting for a barista to get involved, pretty much screams “open season on coffee shop artwork” amirite?

[h/t Mission Local]

Forthcoming Silver Stone Cafe Takes a Bold Stand Against Serving Breakfast and Lunch

I've been trying to figure out what's up with Silver Stone Cafe (which is moving into the old Carlos Club spot on 24th and Mission) crossing out breakfast and lunch from their coming soon signage alllll morning.  Are they returning us to a time before coffee shops felt compelled to serve small plate nonsense, offering up a little “fuck you, we don't mess with that shit” smack talk in the process?  Perhaps they tasted their coffee and realized the line would be out the door regardless, so why bother?  Just an honest mistake?  Their oven broke?

Guys, this is important.  Someone deliver me from this maddened curiosity and produce a suitable explanation forthwith.

The Summit Runs Out of Oxygen

I always found this place to be appalling, so please excuse my reluctant smirk, but the overly tech-centric Valencia coffee shop The Summit can no longer afford to pay their rent and are moving on to new things, says Mission Local.

From a message posted to their website:

After a year and half, THE SUMMIT SF will close it’s operations at 780 Valencia to re-open at a soon to be determined location. During this time, we’ve received press and accolades from Food and Wine to Business Week, created a community of entrepreneurs/digital thinkers/and creative like minds, helped launch many start-ups, hosted several culinary pop-ups, produced buzz worthy art shows, and threw some legendary parties. We could not have achieved such accomplishments without our amazing community of managers, staff, and of course, our patrons. We are proud of our time at 780 Valencia, and excited to take The Summit to the next level: a social enterprise spreading entrepreneurship and innovation around the world.

We are thankful for the opportunity to launch The Summit SF at IO Ventures and we wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors. We are hopeful the next tenants of 780 Valencia will carry on our spirit and become an asset to the vibrant Mission community.

Our doors are scheduled to close on 1/28/2012.

Should you be worried, the landlord (i/o Ventures, some nerdstuffs) is doing just fine and intends on finding a “new vendor” for the space.

(I should note, I don't quite know why I hate The Summit, seeing as though I enjoy buying a beverage I don't particularly like or want so I can thieve internet access.  But, yeah, something about that place makes you feel like an asshole.)

(Also, I sincerely apologize for that horrible “they're fucking dead” pun; I recently read Krakauer's Into Thin Air and I can't quite shake the image of a frozen, dying Nepalese Sherpa partnering up with a cup of Blue Bottle to found a social network and exchange warmth.)

[Photo by Indra Kupferschmid]


Lisa over at Everyday Photos hipped us to Ritual Roaster's blending of July 2010 internet and espresso.  I'm pretty sure that what this means is that double rainbow is 'fucking dead.'

In other Ritual related news, Berkeley's J-School is apparently back in session because they are posting a mess of original stories again.  For example, yesterday I learned that Four Barrel was born out of a falling out at Ritual (I'm sure everyone already knew that, feel free to make fun of me in the comments) and celebrated their 2 year anniversary with motherfucking pony rides:

Point Four Barrel.



Now that I have that out of my system, I popped my head in there yesterday.  The ghost of American Apparel's hopes and dreams will be bagels, sandwiches, salads and caffeine.  We can only hope that the bagels will be overnighted from the east coast daily.  Sorry for the crappy pic, but by “popped my head in there,” I really meant “I took some shitty pictures of the menu from the street” because I'm an antisocial fucktard.