Omar Jahamee, the owner of SoMa’s Delah Coffee House, has confirmed plans to open a second location of his Yemeni-style coffee house in the Bay Area. This time, the business will take over a former Starbucks at 420 West Grand Avenue in Oakland, right off Broadway. The young co-owner and manager says loads of the shop’s fans live in the East Bay, namely in Richmond and Berkeley, so expanding to the Town made a lot of sense. “It’s the perfect spot for us,” Jahamee says.
The new location, which is set to open in mid-December or by the end of the year, was vacated by the union-busting coffee chain when the franchise moved into a bigger space across the street. Delah Coffee House was the first Bay Area cafe to highlight coffee’s geographical origins in both the design of the shop and its menu. Plenty of third-wave shops incorporate farmers’ stories from throughout the Coffee Belt, but, as Yemen was the first country to commercially export coffee through its Port of Mokha, honoring North Africa’s importance in coffee’s history is often relegated to the coffee bag alone.
In addition to crowd-pleasers like the Yemeni Latte and Bee Bites (cream cheese-stuffed bread, served hot, with honey on top), the new location will feature a few signature items. The Dubai Refresher is a lighter drink full of lemon, lime, mint, and sparkling water, whereas the saffron latte will invoke some of the aromatic drinks Delah is already well-known for in SoMa. “We found a ratio between the spice with the coffee we like,” Jahamee says.
The seating will look a little different, too. The hope in this location is to offer more family-friendly seating, like the traditional Yemeni sofas Jahamee says are common in cafes back home. The decor will also be a bit more upgraded, not that the coffee maps and delah pots in the first location are anything to scoff at. As the young business keeps growing, Jahamee hopes its fan base continues to swell and that more and more locations can sprout up throughout the Bay Area and the state. “Quality-wise, we will stay the same,” Jahamee says.