Not all coffee purveyors want you to get in and get out as quickly as you can, it seems. Certainly not the team at Divisadero Street’s Horsefeather, a vibey atrium cocktail destination since 2016. The bar launched an afternoon cafe addition to its offerings a few weeks ago and officially opened for a coffee and snacks service from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 31. “The NoPa-Divisadero corridor has a ton of offerings for remote work and cafes,” bar manager Michelle Giroux — whose pronouns are they and them — says. “Horsefeather is trying to create a different kind of space that offers our full cocktail menu, cafe snacks, and a workspace.”
That means complimentary Wi-Fi and outlets, increasingly rare in San Francisco’s cafe scene. Giroux would know: They’ve worked in coffee since moving to the Bay Area in 2014, culminating in their role on the opening team of Verve Coffee’s first — and most beautiful — San Francisco shop on the corners of Church and Market streets. At Horsefeather, they’re opting for Linea Coffee as the roaster, another company they worked for as a barista, retail manager, and wholesale manager. There’s no espresso machine at the bar, so offerings include standard cold brew and hot drip coffee, at a respectful $5 and $4 respectively.
But more up Horsefeather’s alley are the coffee cocktails and decadent new dishes. There are three drinks and three dishes, and nothing over $11 on either side. There’s the Shakerato featuring Linea’s espresso roast and pineapple cordial as well as a cold brew tonic highlighting Q Indian Tonic and mint. The boozy option of the three is the Nine in the Afternoon, a symphony of cold brew, sherry, Cappelletti, and Swedish punsch, a type of alcohol popular in Sweden and Finland.
On the food end of things, the crispy mochi are already a hit, Giroux says, slathered in coconut milk and matcha cream. There are also fermented chili deviled eggs and toast with herbed butter on neighbor Josey Baker’s oatmeal sourdough. Owner Justin Lew’s Asian American heritage has played a major part in Horsefeather’s food and drink menus over the last seven years, and this menu is no exception. But truly the star of the show at this newest venture from the sleek bar is the coffee, and merely the chance to experience cafe culture in a city rocked by COVID in a new, clever way. “I wanted to accentuate the coffee in a way different than what people are used to,” Giroux says.
Horsefeather is now open for cafe service from 2 to 5 p.m. at 528 Divisadero Street.