Philz Coffee Goes Upscale with Its New San Francisco Store

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Philz Coffee, the specialty coffee house that serves its unique blends one cup at a time, has recently opened a new store at 399 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. This store represents an aesthetic departure for the company—a sophisticated new look and feel to appeal to a more upscale clientele.

Philz Cofee Golden Gate Avenue Store

Philz Cofee Goes Upscale

But it’s also like going to grandma’s house, a rich grandma’s house, full of love and comfort

Philz Coffee, the specialty coffee house that serves its unique blends one cup at a time, has recently opened a new store at 399 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. The store's interior design and overall ambiance represent a stylistic shift for the company—a sophisticated new look and feel to appeal to a more upscale clientele.

The new location required a big change in style and function, said Phil Jaber, who opened up his first Philz Coffee store in 2003 and now offers more than 30 flavorful coffee blends at 12 San Francisco Bay Area locations.

“Quality, like in all my coffee houses was essential, but as a business meeting place we wanted to help build a new culture and promote respect over a cup of coffee," Jaber said. “What we created was more like a cognac salon than coffee house.” The new store has comfortable leather couches, stylish red chairs and large tables that seat 4-6 people to help “the coffee connect people."

Indeed, creating an upscale establishment to bring in those working in the financial district, Hastings law school students from the adjacent building, and other patrons, while maintaining the warm ambiance of other Philz stores, was mainly a collaboration between Rockridge Builders, the contractor hired for the job, and Jacob Jaber, Phil son, who runs the company’s day-to-day operations.

"A business hub for a more upscale crowd required a lot of careful planning," said Bill Hinkamp, the owner of Rockridge Builders. “I worked directly with Jacob Jaber to give the new spot a distinctive feel, a bit classier, you might say. It was Jacob’s desire to create a really distinctive Philz—and I think that’s exactly what we did.”

Rockridge Builders was involved in all aspects of the design-build process from the mechanical and electrical systems to installing stainless steel countertops and completing all the finish work to create an appealing, coffee-going experience. “Jacob wanted a totally different personality for this Philz Coffee location,” Hinkamp added, “that’s for sure.”

The room itself helped contribute to the store’s unique character. The 1800-square-foot space, for example, has a structural beam that divides it—which could not be removed—and had to be incorporated into the final design.

“We really had no choice,” Hinkamp explained. “We couldn’t have the beam stand out like a sore thumb so we built a circular countertop bar around it that people could use while either sitting or standing.”

“As a design-build team,” Hinkamp went on, “we stepped back and asked: What is going to make this commercial space inviting? And after the coffee bar and other hardware were figured out, it then made sense to use rich earth tones, warm burgundies and ambers for the interior.”

As a result, gone is the more casual vibe of many other Philz stores. You won’t find the trademark overstuffed couches, or graffiti-walled bathrooms and other ramshackle qualities at the new Philz. The new signature touches include a room with high ceilings, rich-textured wood interiors, polished concrete floors, a stainless steel, circular coffee bar and cozy yet elegant furniture.

“The entire space,” Jaber said, “captures the feeling of a rich law office or library. But it’s also like going to grandma’s house, a rich grandma’s house, full of love and comfort and that’s open, roomy and spacious.”

Contact: Rockridge Builders
bill(at)rockridgebuilders(dot)com
Ph:510.535.1682
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