By Elena Kadvany
Updated: Blue Bottle Coffee moving in across from Palo Alto CaltrainUploaded: Oct 9, 2013
The flow of San Francisco restaurants to the Peninsula just refuses to quit. The latest transplant: Blue Bottle Coffee, a gourmet coffee spot that began in Oakland in 2002 and now has five San Francisco locations, the largest yet on its way in Oakland and four in New York. Fraiche Yogurt on Hamilton Avenue also serves Blue Bottle.
Blue Bottle will be moving into the massive site currently under construction across the street from the downtown Caltrain station in Palo Alto. The building at 101 Lytton Ave. is also the future home of Survey Monkey.
"I think it's a building that stands for this time and that place in Palo Alto," said Blue Bottle founder James Freeman. He added that he likes being off the beaten path a bit, away from the "chatter" of University Avenue.
Palo Alto is slated to be larger than most Blue Bottles, coming in just under 1500 square feet. Freeman said the corner space, south-facing with cement floors, will be "a little bit raw."
There will be some bites to eat as well as the usual freshly roasted coffee, espresso, pour overs, iced coffee, etc.
Freeman said he often sees Silicon Valley wheelers and dealers signing deals over poached eggs and toast at the Mint Plaza location in downtown San Francisco, the only Blue Bottle with a full food program. In addition to the "Blue Bottle Benedict," Mint Plaza also serves Belgian-style waffles, steel-cut oatmeal and seasonal soups and salads. Freeman said he imagines similar offerings in Palo Alto.
Perfect for the city that Freeman called "symbolic of this center of industry," the new Blue Bottle will take coffee to the next level with an home espresso machine service and education center. Very much like Apple's "Genius Bars," owners will be able to take their espresso machines in for repairs, get trained on them or find out more about how they work.
Blue Bottle joins another caffeinated transplant from San Francisco, Philz Coffee, just blocks away on Alma and Forest Ave.