The Mission District’s destination cafe Stonemill Matcha is ready for its comeback. The cafe reopens on Wednesday, December 20, after closing back in August. Mission Local reported news of the business’s resurrection in late November, sharing that Taishoken owner Yoshi Takaguchi is behind the project.
Takaguchi says Taishoken chef Yosuke Tajiri will lead the Stonemill kitchen. Stonemill executive pastry chef Mikiko Yui also returns to the new iteration of the cafe and is involved with menu development. It’s all part of Takaguchi’s plan to keep the cafe and its offerings largely intact and similar to how Stonemill fans remember it. “It’s going to be exactly the same,” Takaguchi says. “Same brand, same menu.” That means favorites such as matcha pie, matcha lattes, and pork katsu sandos will return, Takaguchi says.
As for the space, Takaguchi left it mostly untouched save for deep cleaning and reorganizing. It’s an ambitious undertaking to bring Stonemill, especially since Takaguchi had no connection to the restaurant or its owners other than as a customer and fan. Takaguchi says he reached out to the owners as news of the closure surfaced. “I just didn’t want to lose one of the best matcha cafes in San Francisco,” he says.
Stonemill Matcha opened in 2018 at the height of the matcha boom, showcasing green tea in its roster of drinks and pastries. The menu also included Japanese comfort food favorites such as katsu sandwiches. The cafe became a staple of the Valencia corridor in the five years since it took over the previous Bar Tartine location.
Stonemill Matcha’s reopening kicks off a smattering of restaurants that have been similarly saved after closing permanently. Rosamunde Sausage Grill also returned on December 8 after shuttering on November 21, as longtime Rosamunde bartender Danny Mendez and partner Sandra Pulley bought the business and reopened it to the public; Oakland’s Sláinte underwent a similar situation, closing on October 31 and returning as of December 15 under the ownership of some former staff and friends of the bar.
Stonemill Matcha (561 Valencia Street) opens on Wednesday, December 20, and its hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Dine-in closes daily at 2:30 p.m. with takeout orders available until 4 p.m.