San Francisco's favorite grocery mini-chain and Dolores Park ice cream purveyor is opening a new outpost in the Civic Center area. That's right, folks—Bi-Rite is growing.
Bi-Rite owner and San Francisco native Sam Mogannam confirmed that the grocery store will open a street cafe alongside two new playgrounds aimed at invigorating the Civic Center Plaza and surrounding community. The plan comes thanks to a $1 million dollar grant from the Helen Diller Family Foundation to install a family-friendly food purveyor next to the proposed new playgrounds across the park from City Hall, and is also funded with another $10 million from the Diller Foundation.
The Planning Commission still needs to sign off on the street cafe (as do other stakeholders like the Architectural Review Committee and the Historical Preservation Committee, but if it's a go, Bi-Rite could open the new outpost along Grove Street as soon as February of next year.
Physical plans for the street cafe appear to be pretty petite (just 640-square-feet,) meaning that the Civic Center Bi-Rite would be the size of a small coffee shop, not the grocery emporiums we shop on 18th Street and Divisadero. And like the space, Bi-Rite's Civic Center menu will be small, consisting of coffee, pastries and a "bad-ass" egg sandwich during breakfast hours, along with sandwiches and salads during the afternoon. Kid-friendly items will be available as well, making a gourmet Civic Center playground picnic a very real possibility.
While Bi-Rite Creamery Ice Cream won't be available (sad trombone), the cafe will offer the brand's soft serve made from local buffalo milk, a favorite of Mogannam's. “There’s something about that texture that makes me happier than shit. I love it,” he told Eater.
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