The Art Deco-styled Round House Cafe on the SF side of the Golden Gate Bridge is getting a new tenant, and it's none other than Marin County-based Equator Coffees.
For several years, the 1,600-square-foot Round House Cafe, built in 1938 to complement the one-year-old bridge, has been operated by the Golden Gate National Parks Conversancy. They had been serving bread bowls and hot dogs and such, as Eater notes, but in January 2020 (pre-pandemic), they announced the closure of the Round House, saying, "Like many restaurants in the Bay Area, we faced increasing challenges in food preparation services."
The Conservancy also said it would be collaborating with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District to "re-envision" the Round House.
Now, as the SF Business Times first reported, they're announcing the deal with Equator, who also contracts with the Conservancy to sell coffee at the Warming Hut at Crissy Field.
"The Golden Gate Bridge represents who we are as a people and as a country — our community coming together to imagine and construct what we thought to be impossible,” said Helen Russell, Equator's chief executive chair, in a statement.
Russel added, "To see this iconic, legendary bridge that we’ve all read about, and to know that the Round House Cafe has been there since the 30s — it’s an amazing opportunity for Equator to move into a space and honor its history and heritage, and also create memorable experiences for all those who travel through our doors."
The LGBTQ-founded, woman-owned Equator Coffee was founded in 1995 in a Marin County garage. Russell founded it with Brooke McDonnell, who now serves as Chief Product Officer, and the company is now based in San Anselmo.
Equator also has locations in Mill Valley, Oakland, and in the LinkedIn building in SoMa — but its Tenderloin location next to the Warfield, famed for that $15 pour-over, closed permanently when the pandemic began.
At the Round House Cafe, Equator plans to serve its fair-trade, small-batch coffees, as well as toasts, breakfast burritos, hot chocolate, soups, salads, pastries, and hand pies. There's no word on whether pour-overs will top out at $15, or less.
The plan is to open, following a remodel, by late summer or early fall.
Equator has also been selected as the vendor for the conservancy's concession area on Alcatraz Island as well.
Photo via Equator Coffees