Leave it to San Francisco to have a coffeehouse playing the role of the new year's highest-profile opening, but that's exactly how the scene played out down in Mint Plaza when Blue Bottle Cafe debuted in late January. As someone pointed out back during our opening coverage, this chic room is a far ways from that little Linden Alley garage. It's a bit surreal to see the space empty in the above photos, as the place has been pretty much packed since Day One. The two main focal points of the room are probably the 12-seat communal table running down the center and of course, the snazzy siphon machine whose $20k pricetag received more than little national attention. As for the first month of operations away in Mint Plaza, the general consensus has been that despite the wait times—45 minutes for a cup of weekend joe can be a bit much in a hungover state, after all—there's no doubting that this is top notch coffee.