Here we have the scene of the next epic battle of our time. This seemingly-innocuous (sleepy, even) strip of Mariposa Street will soon house Coffee Bar, a coffeehouse-cafe from Luigi di Ruocco, Jason Michael Paul, and Michael Richardson, the people behind Oakland's Mr. Espresso (which boasts the best espresso in the Bay Area according to some). Opening within the month in the old Arc Cafe space on the corner of Florida, Coffee Bar is expected to be the coffee aficionado's answer to the wine bar; there will be coffee flights, tastings, a lounge area, gourmet nibbles and even a splash of alcohol here and there.
The rub? Right across the street lies a Starbucks, which has spelled doom for many a coffee shop. If Coffee Bar is all the gourmet rage—Blue Bottle with atmosphere—it's cracked up to be, it should be able to resist the empire, but here's a thought: how will Coffee Bar affect Starbucks' business?
Want to place a wager on Coffee Bar versus Starbucks? Your thoughts in the comments field or straight to us.