What do you do when your adorable but very small cafe gets too popular? Telescope Coffee owner Jenny Ngo loved her first location at 451 Ninth Street, but customers had almost no room to enter the space — even three or four people felt like a crowd. So, Ngo decided to upgrade, closing the micro cafe on March 18 in anticipation of opening a newer, larger location. Now, with keys in hand to the space, she’s moving the business to its new home at 345 Sixth Street, just a few blocks from the original location. The business will be the first retail tenant on the ground floor of an apartment complex called 345Six, a development from Atlas Property Groups in SoMa that’s just a few years old. The location will be almost double the space of the first spot and with the added amenity of seats — which is big for Telescope and its fans. “We’re excited to finally have seating,” Ngo says. “Before we even opened Telescope, we always wanted to have customers enjoy coffee and sit down with us.”
The shop’s famous focaccia will still be on the menu, alongside the Instagrammable honeycomb latte. Ngo expects to expand the offerings though and is taking the R&D phase seriously in preparation for the opening. Sandwiches and other specials are in the works and may make an appearance on the upcoming menu. For now, she’s still working on the details, but on the whole, it’s the creativity in the pastry department that is most exciting. In the final weeks of the first shop’s run, for example, Ngo came up with mini gluten-free banana cream pies and chocolate cupcakes with toasted sage buttercream. The major coffee partnership remains with Cosmic Dust, the San Jose roaster that supplies Telescope with its beans, and already the two businesses have plans in mind for the Sixth Street location; Telescope and Cosmic hope to host coffee training and other events that allow them to interact with the community in the larger space.
The new shop is around the block from the Folsom Street corridor, near sandwich spot Deli Board and a handful of divey bars. Telescope aims to be a welcome addition to a neighborhood that has seen a number of closures in recent months, including 40-year-old Don Ramon’s and fine dining-art hybrid restaurant Palette (which has since reopened as Aphotic). To ring in the good news, Ngo will throw a big party on the opening day. “There’ll be something special,” Ngo says.
Telescope Coffee will open at 345 Sixth Street in late April or early May from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.