[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Perk up, caffeine hounds: there's a new coffee destination in town. After establishing a much-loved pop-up at Public Bikes in South Park, Saint Frank has moved into its new Russian Hill digs and is officially open for business as of this weekend. The project comes from Kevin "Tex" Bohlin, a former middle school teacher turned Ritual alum and 2012 United States Barista Championship competitor, and it's not just about getting your morning fix: Bohlin is focused on bringing customers closer to coffee's origins in Honduras and beyond.
Bohlin enlisted the help of John Ermacoff, who designed a new coffee machine that goes under the counter, opening up interactions between the barista and the customer with a low profile bar. "It's been in development for a long time, and we're really excited to have it," says Bohlin. "Making real connections with the coffee and with others is central to our vision at Saint Frank so it's really the perfect fit for our bar." The space comes complete with an under counter water boiler that matches the espresso machine, meaning there aren't any machines on the bar. The design lends itself to the open, airy feel of the space, which features a white oak bar and white hex tiles (Open Scope Studios and Bohlin pal Amanda Loper contributed to the design).
Saint Frank will offer seasonal coffees with two espressos each day, plus at least three filter coffee offerings. A variety of pastries will also be on offer from barista "Mr. Holmes," along with Marla Bakery and croissants from Le Marais.
Saint Frank will also have regular cuppings and coffee education opportunities like home brewing and espresso classes, as well as events to meet coffee producers and learn about coffee at origin (and perhaps trips to Honduras). "We want to pursue progressive coffee quality and grow the market share of this kind of coffee," says Bohlin. "That means more customers and more farmers making life better for everyone.
Saint Frank is open 7am to 3pm this week, but will have regular 7am to 7pm hours starting next week.