New Castro Coffee Klatch Member?

2311 Market Street

2311 Market Street has stood vacant since the Vitamin Center shuttered it’s doors in 2012. Photo: Google Maps Image

As we posted last week Illy, the international coffee brewer, is set to bring its high-end product to the Castro (2349 Market Street). Now it seems it will have some company as San Rafael based Weaver Coffee has chosen to open its second retail coffee shop next to Fitness SF in the former digs of the Vibrant Health Vitamin Center (2301 Market Street).

SFist reported that Weaver will be attempting to insert itself into the retail slot that Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had been hot to procure last year but faced an uphill battle squaring off against local independent coffee shops near by, corporate resistance from Peet’s down the street and Castro districts newly instituted formula retail limits.
Weaver’s has signed a lease for the prime corner at Noe and Market giving Cafe Flore and  down the block Peet’s Coffee & Tea new competition to contend with in an already saturated market. If Weaver’s makes the grade and is approved by the SF Planning Commission that will bring the total number of places to get your caffeine fix on in the Castro to 14.

Weaver's signage has gone up in their newly leased Castro space. Photo: Waiyde Palmer

Weaver’s signage has gone up in their newly leased Castro space. Photo: Waiyde Palmer

Weaver’s is run by Peet’s former Master Roaster. The company formed in 2007 and opened its first retail space in 2010 in Marin. The Castro location would mark the next step in its corporate expansion for the company as it sets itself up to brand its future under the ‘Weaver’ Coffee flag.

Weaver’s brand is billed as Artisan, hand roasted coffee. The third wave of the coffee-house experience with small, local Mom & Pop shops being first wave, mass corporate bland entities like Starbucks the second and this new, bean by bean/cup at a time, approach the third wave.

Weaver hopes to distance themselves from their competition by offering product that is hand-crafted lifting coffee roasting and tea leaf combining to an art form using all their 27 years of coffee biz experience.

Best of luck to them. If they make it through San Francisco’s rough and tumble business approval gauntlet and do open I will still keep going to my favorite two places to get a good cup of coffee: Castro Coffee Company that has been slugging away making a great, affordable cup of joe for 23 years under the watchful eye of its small, family owners or locally owned, Spikes Coffee & Tea on 19th Street, where they’ve been serving a cup at a time and supporting the community since the first day they opened in 1990.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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17 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

    • rblack says:

      Honestly I see more trash from 7-11 hotdogs and unwanted Examiners than coffee cups.

      Maybe we don’t need a new coffee place, but in a free market the consumer can pick which place they want to go and the market will decide which ones are successful and which ones will fail.

      I’m a Philz man myself, mostly due to location. I will say I am thrilled something is going in this spot. It’s the second biggest eyesore since the old Tower Records spot.

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  2. rblack says:

    They shouldn’t have too much problem right? They don’t fall under the ‘formula retail’ rules.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. wylen vanyel says:

    The trash issue doesn’t seem to be their issue at all, but the issue of customers of the already existing coffee shops that have containers not knowing how to throw their trash away correctly.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. Peter says:

    I love the Castro Coffee Company! And unless Weaver’s starts selling a wide variety of excellent coffee for $7.50 a pound (as opposed to $13 for 12 ounces at Peet’s), I don’t think CCC has anything to worry about.

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  5. Mark Vogel says:

    Good points, rblack. Personally, I don’t think there is such a thing as too many coffee shops in the Castro (or any neighborhood really) in our caffeine, coffee-obsessed culture. It would be similar to saying, in the ’70s, that there are too many gay bars. Every one of the existing cafes is packed even in the middle of the day.

    And, yes, Weavers will not be subject to approval from the Planning Commission or open to community input because it does not need a Conditional Use permit (it is not formula retail).

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    • rblack says:

      Aggree. I’m coming around to the formula retail limitations but I absolutely disagree with stopping a business because there are “too many” of the same kind nearby.

      Competition is good, if the new place is doing well it forces the others to up their game. A huge win/win for the consumer.

      And who knows, maybe Weaver’s will be a huge supporter of the community. We won’t find out unless we give them (and any others) a chance.

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      • rblack says:

        Oh and I know everyone hates on Starbucks but the 18th St location donates money for flower baskets, the LGBT museum, and the Harvey Milk Academy.

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        • P says:

          if everyone gates Starbucks why is the location on 18th Street always flowing out to the street

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          • Waiyde Palmer says:

            Uh. Well it’s the size of a button, it’s patrons are mostly Bears and it’s within inches of the iconic corner of 18th/Castro. Space plus Mass divided by Volume=crammed Starbucks spilling out onto sidewalk.

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  6. Matt says:

    perfect, now all the early gym bunnies can get a fresh cup of coffee for their 5am workouts!

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  7. Rick Roll says:

    Idiots! Should have named it Beavers!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  8. Ferrin says:

    I go to Peet’s, to Castro Coffee Company, to Spike’s, to Cafe Flore… Each one serves a different purpose. Competition is not bad. I like to opportunity to shop around, both depending on my daily moods and on the current rotation of staff. If I want to lounge around and write and look at cute boys, I go to Cafe Flore and grab a for-here mug. If I’m on Castro, I try to shoot a couple bucks at CCC, even if I don’t really need a huge pick-me-up. Same with Spike’s if I’m further down into the Castro. If I don’t have cash and don’t feel like withdrawing, or if I’m in a rush, I’ll go to Peet’s.

    It was truly worth killing that Starbucks on Market. Their building plans showed they were clueless about the pride we take in our neighborhood, choosing to describe it in negative terms and saying the area needed improvement. They’re building a monster Starbucks within Safeway, so they just want saturation.

    It remains to be seen how Weaver’s will fit, if it does indeed make it to an opening. If the quality is there, and the service is good, they’ll get some of my dollars. But everyone else still will, too.

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  9. Tom says:

    I was realllllly hoping that the Coffee Bean would have been able to open here. There’s only three other locations in the City, but in the grand scheme of things, it does fall outside of the retail formula with the LA/NY, etc stores.

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  10. Gian Luca says:

    after Mr. Barilla’s deeply interesting release about straight family values & pasta, I would like to draw your attention to the necessity of choosing the right italian coffee, too.
    Last August I was in San Francisco and noticed the new Illy store under construction on Market Street, in the very heart of the Castro: nothing to say about the quality of the product, but I would like to remind my community in USA that the owner of the firm, Mr. Riccardo Illy, is notorius among LGBT people here in Italy for his public statement about same sex civil unions(we are not speaking of marriage !) during his presidency of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region.
    Quoting from his 2004 interview on the “Espresso” magazine : “… since they don’t have children and taking for granted that is not appropriate to allow them to adopt, they are free to live as they prefer, but I don’t believe they are worthy of legal protection ….” (see article below, on the Trieste newspaper “Il Piccolo”).
    In many years there was not a word of apology from Mr. Illy or a sign of evolution on this issue.
    These homophobic assessments started a big quarrel in Italy and the gay attempt to boycott Illy cups for good, but I don’t know if that was widely considered in the States.
    Maybe now it’s the time !

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  11. Harry says:

    Weaver’s has been the official coffee sponsor for the broadcast of SF Pride for 5 years now with KOFY TV w/Michelle Meow, then it’s their 1st year sponsoring Swirl TV. So exciting to have such a great LGBT supporter moving into our community! Plus their great coffee! Yum!

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  1. January 4, 2014

    […] was announced back in July of 2013, but the location hasn’t seen any kind of movement or setup work […]

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