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This Cult-Favorite Coffee Pop-Up Just Got a Permanent Location

The Mission District pandemic pop-up is going permanent, but the location is (mostly) a secret

An espresso machine and a plant.
The kit at Deathless Coffee has always been small and mighty, as it shall remain.
Rai Littlejohn
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Few coffee openings in the Mission District have garnered as much attention as Deathless Coffee, which technically was never a real coffee shop in the first place. The weekend-only coffee pop-up was run out of a storage unit in a secret location, though numerous fans figured it out through cryptic Reddit posts and digital breadcrumbs from various Instagram stories. But now, owner Rai Littlejohn is bringing his oat milk-only service to the fabled coffee outlet’s first permanent spot on Market Street. What’s the address? Obviously, that’s a secret. “It’s the same template as current Deathless,” Littlejohn says. “We want to lay low.”

His iconic blue Marzoco espresso machine from the original pop-up will be on site, but so too will batch brews and a few simple latte options. Oat cortados will remain the standard, and if you want a large size you should clarify. This time, Littlejohn will bring doughnuts from San Francisco’s Whack Donuts, too. Littlejohn wanted to feature another person of color, and he’d love to have vegan food in addition to his plant-based coffee options. And, fear not, he’s still going to use the Mission’s Grand Coffee for beans. What Littlejohn will share about the space itself is that it once was a gym, but also served as a book and map shop in the past, a detail he finds funny given his nondescript locations. (One hint is to start your search near Deluxe Skate Shop and Sushi Zone.)

Littlejohn is tapping his passionate fanbase to bring in a bit of coin for the move, too. So far his donation page has brought in just shy of $5,000. Right now, he’s getting everything repainted, the bar made, and the interior in shape. If everything goes well, he thinks this could be a home for Deathless for 10 years or more. “I just want to be a mysterious doors-open situation,” Littlejohn says. “Hiding in plain sight.”

Deathless Coffee will open on Market Street in January 2023.