I had a chance to swing by the brand-new THE MILL yesterday, the new collaborative bakery-café project by Four Barrel’s Jeremy Tooker and Josey Baker, he of crazy-good bread fame. It has a buzz of activity with the team furiously getting ready for the soft opening tomorrow, Wednesday February 13th. (I’ll share some pics on Friday—it was still a bit too much under construction.)
Walking into the space, you can see elements that tie it to the original Four Barrel on Valencia (the exposed timber beams, high ceilings), but it definitely has more of a clean, kitchen-influenced sensibility. There is a variety of seating options (about 40 spots in all): there are benches in the window, a long communal table of white oak, classic marble café tables, and a row of a few built-in tables for two (or three) along the back left wall. The space has an airiness to it, with four skylights, and white tiles in a herringbone pattern that are matched by the wood herringbone shelves on the opposing wall. The shelves will not only contain coffee-related items, but baking items as well, like bread knives, books, and bread tins. Yeah, it’s a looker—so many handcrafted touches.
There are two espresso stations with the very latest La Marzocco machines, and there will be a toast station, featuring three kinds of kick-ass bread made daily by Josey Baker (with spreads, like housemade almond butter). The pastry case will also display cookies (like oatmeal-apricot), granola, coffee cake, corn bread, and some vegan and gluten-free options as well. Baker tells me he will also be able to start selling his own house-milled, whole-grain flour in a couple of months (the Austrian wooden mill is gorgeous).
There is currently a petition to have a parklet out front (be a dear and please consider signing it?), and there is also a backyard they hope to be able to open up at some point down the road as well. Like Four Barrel, The Mill is Wi-Fi-free (as opposed to free Wi-Fi, ha-ha). Initial hours will be 7am-9pm daily. 736 Divisadero St. at Fulton, 415-345-1953.
The interior at The Mill. Photo by Gundolf Pfotenhauer.