After 21-year-old Lower Haight mainstay cafe Bean There was forced to close a year ago at the corner of Steiner and Waller amid what the owner characterized as a dishonest move by the landlord who needed to retrofit the building, the word went out last summer that the landlord had instead struck a deal with Blue Bottle Coffee for the space. That deal was going to face some potentially intransigent neighbors because Blue Bottle, despite this being their hometown, would now fall under formula-retail restrictions because the company has more than 11 locations nationwide meaning the deal could be dead in the water unless neighbors were agreeable and a special conditional use permit were granted. I didn't hear anything further about it and in the meantime a nail salon moved in called Vierra & Friends, so I assumed that was that. But now Hoodline reports that Vierra & Friends simply relocated temporarily from their Cole Valley location, apparently owned by the same landlord who had to do retrofit work there, and the Blue Bottle deal is still on the table.
The conditional-use permit still needs final approval by the Planning Commission, and April 13 is the day that all goes down.
Blue Bottle has remodeling plans that include new bench seating and a new coffee bar along the righthand wall, but it doesn't look like they're seeing outdoor seating at this time.
So far, Blue Bottle has only told Hoodline that they have "several community-focused programs in the works" when it comes time to open, and there's likely been some outreach in advance of the April meeting.
Stay tuned to see if the 'hood says "Yes, we want some Blue Bottle," or "No, we want our little neighborhood cafe back."
Previously: Prepare For A Revolt: Blue Bottle Possibly Taking Over Beloved Former Bean There Space In Lower Haight