clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Products and interior shots from Haraz Coffee House.
Haraz Coffee House is coming to the Bay Area, starting this August in Lower Pac Heights.
Haraz Coffee House

Filed under:

San Francisco Could Be Flooded With Yemeni Coffee by Next Year

Haraz Coffee House opens in San Francisco in mid-August, planting a flag on the West Coast for the Michigan-born company

Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Yemeni coffee houses serve the typical early morning crowd, but also keep the lights on into the late night — for those indulgent occasions when customers want to down a kettle of coffee and a pastry, then hit the streets fueled on caffeine and sugar. Well-practiced at this duality, Haraz Coffee House will open on the corner of Bush and Franklin streets in mid-August, the first California outpost for the popular Dearborn, Michigan-founded company. Haraz Coffee House CEO Hamzah Nasser says Haraz is an experience, not just another coffee shop coming to the neighborhood. “This is the first coffee cup ever made,” Nasser says, referring to Yemeni coffee.

The menu will be the same as at the company’s Michigan locations, including golden saffron cakes and rich pistachio lattes. For the uninitiated, Yemeni coffee houses tend to serve modern, Western-originated drinks including espresso and lattes, but also pride themselves on old-school Yemeni items like the delah, a classic Yemeni coffee pot, and milky adeni tea. The drinks at Haraz are much the same, and the food leans on Yemeni tradition, too, with options including bee bites, a cream cheese-stuffed bread served hot with honey drizzled atop. Still, Biscoff cheesecake and king brownies are commonplace at Haraz, too.

Haraz Coffee is named after the Haraz Mountains in Yemen’s southwest region, a nod to the country where coffee was first exported and sold outside of Ethiopia and still grows today. The company has gone from a local operation when it opened in 2021 to a booming chain across four states with more than 200 employees. Ali al-Biesery, an Oakland resident, is the first franchise owner in the company’s fifth state, California. He traveled to Michigan to learn from Haraz, visiting its first location and the roastery. “San Francisco is such a high-consuming coffee area,” Nasser says. “But he said there was nothing like this.”

Products and interior shots from Haraz Coffee House. Haraz Coffee House
Products and interior shots from Haraz Coffee House. Haraz Coffee House

Delah Coffee helped to popularize the Yemeni coffee style when it opened in July 2022, becoming San Francisco’s first Yemeni coffee house. But even Delah Coffee has its ties to Haraz, run by a former employee of the growing Michigan chain. Now, the Yemeni coffee community is continuing to grow. Nassar references Mokhtar Alkhanshali’s $16 cup of coffee sold in Blue Bottle as an example of Yemeni coffee making the road back to coffee drinkers. And Delah Coffee opened a second location in Oakland shortly after debuting its first.

The company is betting big on California’s love of Yemeni coffee: Haraz will open a new roastery and headquarters in either Oakland or Santa Monica, Nassar says, and franchise applications are in the process for outposts in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose. If everything goes well, the business will have a big footprint in 2024 and into the future. “It’s massive,” Nasser says. “We plan to implement everything we’ve done in Michigan in California, with a whole bakery and coffee school.”

After construction wraps and the signs are all in place, Nasser says the grand opening will be soon to follow. The party will be full of music, traditional Yemeni garb, coffee tastings, and pastry samples. In the meantime, he says folks in the neighborhood walk in to ask about the new space; he says it feels like the right area for Haraz. An insurance company has even already contacted the location to host a party. The doom and gloom stories about San Francisco don’t worry him in the least. “I’m opening three locations in Detroit,” Nasser says. “We as young entrepreneurs can’t give up, whether a small business or a large one. Just open, create jobs, and give people a chance.”

Haraz Coffee House (1452 Franklin Street) will debut in mid-August.

Products and interior shots from Haraz Coffee House. Haraz Coffee House
Products and interior shots from Haraz Coffee House. Haraz Coffee House

Haraz Coffee House

1452 Franklin Street, , CA 94109 (415) 494-7239 Visit Website
San Francisco Restaurant Openings

Get Gossipy and Snacky with Lechon Tortas and Frito Pies at Chisme

4 Restaurants and Bars to Try This Weekend in the Bay Area: March 1

Best Dishes

The Best Dishes Eater SF Editors Ate This Week: March 1