Saint Frank Coffee is an independent, locally owned business that finds beauty and significance in the simple act of making and sharing great coffee.
The guiding vision for the café was to maintain focus on the customer. Rather than designing for line management and efficient point of sale transactions, the owner's primary goal was to provide personal interactions between the customer and the barista. To achieve this, OpenScope Studio situated the barista up front in the space ensuring it's the first thing presented to the customer when they enter the door. The rest of the café was planned around this relationship.
The space was created as two halves; the upper half is a luminous volume bounded by white walls and ceiling illuminated by four large (existing) skylights; the lower half is a rich wood surface that is the backdrop for the coffee bar. The coffee bar itself is a bright white object set against this warm wood background. It is designed to be as open and obstacle-free as possible, including detailing the front counter to accommodate a pair of custom-built recessed espresso machines.
The wood panelling and furniture is trimmed in unfinished steel, detailed to be simple and direct without being overtly industrial. The coffee bar is faced in white tile, and topped with a white quartz counter top. The milk bar and merchandise shelves are simple bent steel plate.
All of the chairs, stools, bench seating, and table tops were designed specifically for the café, and custom-built by San Francisco wood- and steel-workers. OpenScope Studio worked closely with the fabricators on the design, detailing, joinery, and finishing of each element. At the front of the space a bar-height table and tall stools provide window seating, taking advantage of the active sidewalk just outside the large storefront window with its hand painted gold leaf signage. The middle of the café features a 20 ft long solid wood bench with small tables and stools. The large tables at the rear of the space, and the seating in the mezzanine, allow the coffee bar to host tastings and other small-scale social events.