Nick Beitcher’s pop-up started in 2019 as little more than a foray into sourdough bagels after the Tartine Bakery closed up for the night. But in the last three years Midnite Bagel has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. Then in February, Beitcher, who formerly was head baker at the Tartine Bakery on Guerrero Street, set his sights on the Inner Sunset for his first brick and mortar cafe. Now he’s ready to announce: the shop will open May 23 — and he’s bringing a whole new set of items to the menu, too.
Additions include Beitcher’s breakfast pastries, which will use the same whole-grain flours as Midnite’s super-popular bagels. A few opening items to expect include a coffee-glazed currant scone and a banana-buckwheat muffin — both of which will cost $4.25 — and an everything cookie and passionfruit-coconut macaroon — both of which will cost $4. Black sesame, coconut, and pecan granola will be available, as well.
Beitcher says opening Midnite Bagel’s first shop in the Inner Sunset has already been like a homecoming. Beitcher lives in the Outer Sunset and has received a warm welcome while the shop at 8th Avenue and Irving Street has been under construction. He plans to get together with other local shops for collaborations and pop-ups once open. “We’ve had so many people poke their heads in to say hello, introduce themselves, and welcome us into the community,” Beitcher says.
Community helped put the shop together, too. The space housed a boba shop called Tea 4 You before Beitcher took over the lease, and no contractors were brought on to help flip the businesses. Beitcher says Jesse Schlessinger, a San Francisco visual artist, woodworker, and sculptor, guided the design aesthetic; Heli Witherspoon helped with the layout and “figuring out how to maximize every inch of our small space.” Skye Sala, Beitcher’s friend and Midnite’s first employee, took photos that now hang on the shop’s walls, while two baker friends, Mike Orson and Javier Colon, came in on their days off to help paint, plaster, drill, and sand. Robbie Gould (not the 49ers placekicker) did all of the carpentry. “Most of the work we did was cosmetic,” Beitcher says. “We tried to figure out how to get the feel we wanted without spending a ton of money.”
Having worked in the service industry in the city for so long, Beitcher was inspired by plenty of fellow cafes and restaurants. He liked how Tartine Bakery always features local artists, like Sala who has also been a Parkside resident her whole life. Beitcher frequents Outerlands and Hook Fish Co. and loves their casual ambiances. Trouble Coffee, the Outer Sunset shop which also has an Oakland location, served as practical guides, too. “That no-frills, stripped down aesthetic,” Beitcher says. “I always loved how the all-white interior seemed to pull in and hold all of the natural light from outside.”
Beitcher says to get things on an even keel, he’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for staffing and operations in the weeks before the shop opens. Midnite Bagel’s hours will be Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.