Marcel Costas’s South San Francisco roaster Ikon Coffee is coming to San Francisco for good. The co-owner will open the second location of the coffee business in the Dogpatch at the end of December. The new shop opens on the first floor of the new Knox Landing condo complex on the corner of 22nd and Mississippi streets, about two blocks from the Caltrain station. Assistant general manager Alex Le says drink options will join the usual coffee menu, like the company’s Especiale line of espresso-roasted beans. For this well-roasted espresso shot using Especiale, customers will pay between $5 and $7. “It’ll be the best shot of espresso you’ve ever had,” Le says. “Give us a shot with just one cup of coffee, and we think we can change your perspective on coffee. That’s our open handshake to everyone.”
The menu is very much up in the air, but the team would like to experiment with coffee mocktails, including plays on familiar cocktails like an espresso old fashioned — perfect for the city that perfected (if not invented) the Irish Coffee — available for dine-in only. The food program is still being built out, as there is a small kitchen on the premises, and Le is hoping the community can offer ideas on what they’d like to see on the menu. Breakfast sandwiches will be available, but Costas (whose family is Bolivian, though he was raised in San Francisco) is also looking to offer pan de queso, or cuñapés, on the menu. There’s a prototype for a riff on a large pan de queso that doubles as Ikon’s take on the San Francisco bread bowl. “It’s the owner's take on being in this city as immigrants,” Le says.
Ikon focuses on roasting and its farmers’ markets outfits, but during the pandemic, Costas and Le built a cafe out of the roasting facility, a speakeasy of sorts. “We’ve been serving blue collar folks, mechanics, and electricians, bringing specialty to South San Francisco, to folks who were drinking Starbucks and Peet’s,” he says. The team, including roaster Cameron Beliso, anticipates opening the Dogpatch location by the end of December; they’re currently finishing final details like the windows and roll-up doors. The space is almost entirely exterior facing, with a ton of windows, and a bar on the inside and outside. “Our customers are in their Carhartts saying, ‘I think it’s Colombian, there’s a little citrus,’” Le laughs. “The Dogpatch is a little different demographic, but we’re sticking to our coffee program and want to show them what specialty can be.”
Ikon Roastery opens at 645 Texas Street at the end of December with temporary hours, before its grand opening in January.
Update: December 15, 8:11 a.m.: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the food and drink options at the new Ikon Cafe, which may change before the coffee shop’s debut.