This Portola district café is Fourbarrel’s best kept secret, opening onto a new city pocket park that was developed by popular demand of the neighborhood (of which our very own Bonnie Bridges is a member), in conjunction with a San Francisco initiative. The park and café activate a forgotten nook where dead-end street meets elevated highway, enlivening and expanding the community streetscape.
Much of our inspiration for this rough-cut gem came from its context and how to best leverage its many particularities, as is often the case in our work. In homage to the Portola’s history as a commercial rose-growing area, a glass awning and planted trellis greet your approach. A former garage, we worked with the existing concrete shell to leverage its simple structural order, with patrons entering through the large overhead garage door to find a series of custom café carts inside the building.
The main feature of the space is the wood treatment on the ceiling. The whole team collaborated on what to do with loads of old cupped redwood planks, finally arriving on the approach of laying out the end grain pieces in concentric circles to resemble a cross-section of the growth rings of a tree. A custom sliding glass and steel wall does double duty by hiding the massive electrical panel behind and providing retail shelving in front.