The proprietors of Merchant Roots are adding a small, public-facing cafe to the Mission District production kitchen where they’ve been operating for two years. The new cafe, called Malocchio, will open at 613 York Street in mid-September to provide “pour overs, pastries, and good vibes,” in the words of partner Madison Michael.
Michael and her partner, chef Ryan Shelton, opened their Fillmore Street market in May. From their kitchen in the Mission, they bake their popular chocolate chip cookies, run their catering business, and teach cooking classes. Soon, in just a couple weeks, they’ll open to the public there with some sweets (including those cookies), Proyecto Diaz coffee, and three Challah toast options (the menu is below).
Michael and Shelton have always wanted to add a cafe to their Mission District kitchen — but they had no immediate plans to do so until a zoning hiccup accelerated the process. The 613 York space is zoned to include a cafe, as it used to when it was the original home of Marla Bakery. It hasn’t had one in years, but recently — and with no room for negotiation— the space was hit with a zoning violation. Suddenly it was a $350 per day fine, or open a cafe.
“The choice was between paying a fine and upsetting my landlord — or making a cafe that serves the neighborhood, and ultimately improves the space we operate out of,” says Michael. That’s to say it was an easy call.
Malocchio, Italian for the evil eye, aims to ward off bad vibes — and yes, zoning violations. Borrowing from the evil eye symbol, the space will have turquoise accents, and most of the metal elements are complementary brass. The room is mostly industrial and occupies about 30 percent of their space overall. Expect just a few seats and everything available to go.
When it opens, Malocchio’s hours will be Monday to Thursday, 8 a,m. to 2 p.m. And while the Merchant Roots team focuses on opening the cafe, they’ll delay their fine dining component at Merchant Roots, the table at Merchant Roots, a bit longer — stay tuned for more on that.
Malocchio Menu by on Scribd