Rise and shine: There’s a new wave coffee shop in Noe Valley, one that has taken over an old laundromat and totally transformed it into a sleek cafe. This new project comes from barista Maricar Lagura and roaster Christian Ritter, and promises eye-opening coffee, pastries from local bakeries, and beans roasted on site.
Noe Cafe replaces Spin City, a cute laundromat with big glass windows at a residential corner of Sanchez and Clipper. For over a decade, Lagura has served coffee out of a tiny cafe jammed into its front corner. It was, many say, the first third-wave coffee option for the neighborhood, starting as a Blue Bottle purveyor in 2010 (back when Blue Bottle was actually small). Now the coffee operation will take over the entire space.
Lagura and Ritter pulled out Spin City’s old industrial washers and dryers, jackhammered the floors, and put in a fresh coat of paint. There’s now a big center island, with walnut countertops and a gleaming La Marzocco espresso machine (“We had to retire Big Bertha after four years at Outside Lands,” Lagura says fondly of its predecessor, which she lugged out to pour for the show). In the front, the coffee window still opens onto the street, now with a nook and bench. To the right, there are four low tables, each with its own power socket for laptop jockeys. To the left, a recessed wall of dryers has been replaced with three deep booths. In the back, a standup bar surrounds an actual coffee roaster.
Spin City’s coffee window had a fan following in the neighborhood, with puppies and their owners congregating outside. Still, when the coffee operation announced plans to take over the entire space, some neighbors raised initial concerns over their plans to roast beans on site. After some back-and-forth, Noe Cafe complied with the neighbors’ requests, and the issue was resolved.
Of course, it’s not possible to hang in the space just yet. Given current health orders, Noe Cafe will open with takeout only, offering options for online ordering and curbside pickup. When outdoor dining kicks off on June 15, they’ll add eight tables out front, so coffee drinkers can sip on the street, provided they feel comfortable.
The menu features coffee roasted on site, including the usual lattes and cappuccinos, as well as single-origin pour-overs and nitro cold brew. For those who take tea, there are offerings from Stonemill Matcha and Santa Cruz Chai. An enticing array of pastries features all local bakeries: Kahnfections is coming through with buttery croissants and cheddar-scallion biscuits. Dynamo is dropping off doughnuts, in favorite flavors like maple bacon and spiced chocolate. And Poppy Bagels, a relative newcomer on the SF bagel scene, is rolling in the chewy carbs. Beyond breakfast, the cafe will also serve wine and beer on tap, and hopes to expand its savory options soon, with promises of sandwiches and cheese nibbles.
“I started making coffee here when I was broke-ass unemployed,” says Lagura. “I always had cafe envy, and we always wanted to one day open our own space …. Noe Valley has been so good to us.” Judging by the stream of regulars, who are already peering through the windows and knocking on the door, the coffee love is mutual.
Noe Cafe officially opens this Wednesday, June 10. It’s open every day of the week, and starting hours will be 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.