Some new cafés are coming to our local scene. James Stolich of Cook with James is consulting on a new café opening on Van Ness, SPIRO COFFEE. He’s consulting for Mike and Roger Abuyaghi of R&M Automotive (located around the corner on Ellis)—in a funny connection, they have worked on James’s cars in the past and are now working with him on this project. It’s a new buildout and has a natural-modern and Italian-contemporary look, with Carrara marble, walnut tables and cabinets, and a wood-slat ceiling. It will be open for breakfast and lunch, serving Sightglass coffee. The menu is in development, but Italophile Stolich is taking some inspiration from Due Fratellini in Florence, serving delicious panini like La Quercia prosciutto with mozzarella, sea salt, and olive oil, or mild salami with fennel, soft goat cheese, and olive oil. There will also be salads (but none with balsamic—you have to read James’s awesome rant on ingredients he’s over), plus some desserts and breakfast items. Look for an opening in a month or so. 826 Van Ness Ave. at Ellis.
Meanwhile—thanks to a tip from Michele Mandell—the former Top o’ the Hill Market is morphing into LA PALOMA CAFÉ, a project from the folks behind the nearby Le Beau Market. There will be espresso from Weaver’s Coffee in San Rafael (the roaster previously worked for Peet’s), plus soups, sandwiches, salads, gelato, and more. Look for an opening within a month. 1096 Union St. at Leavenworth.
A peek at the under-construction Spiro Coffee. Photo from Spiro.