When I laid eyes on the glazed and sprinkled Bob's Donuts in the display glass of Little Bird Coffeehouse, the newest coffee addition to the Tenderloin (which came to our attention yesterday via The Tenderblog) , I immediately knew this was a spot worth its salt. That's not even considering the fact that they offer Ritual and De La Paz, either dripped by hand or pulled on their sleek La Marzocco espresso machine to satisfy discerning coffee palates in the 'Loin.
Little Bird is owned by the folks who run the city's trio of divey Thieves bars (Whiskey Thieves right next door, Dirty Thieves and Thieves Tavern in the Mission). Chelsea Addison Torres, who co-owns the bars with her husband, and Dave Blood (whoah, metal name), who manages all three bars, decided to give the coffee shop a try once the space next to Whiskey Thieves became vacant.
Little Bird, only open a week now, is decidedly more cute than tough. Its interiors are bright, clean, and perfect to do a day's work on the computer (Wifi is still to come). There's even a kid's play area in one corner.
"Chelsea's got two kids that are both under three and she's had a hard time finding kid-friendly spots in the city," explains Blood. "So it's available to other moms but it's also for her. She can put her kids in there and trap for a bit them while she's working."
"It's kind of a natural progression from how the whiskey bars that we run are," said Blood. "At Whiskey Thieves we have 250 whiskeys. There's no reason to only carry three or four excellent Scotches. If there's good coffee in the city, I'd kinda like to know about it all, talk about it all and serve it all. But I'm a total newbie with coffee. I've been to whiskey conferences and tastings, but I've only been doing this for six weeks!"
Blood, who wants to expand their food menu from donuts and bagels to include sandwiches and waffles, was experimenting with vegetarian paninis with his co-worker Luke as we spoke. He wants to bring late night eats to the coffee shop, and maybe even a De La Paz irish coffee onto the menu.
"I don't think anyone's going to come in at 10 pm and order a latte, but if they wanted to take a cup of coffee over to the bar, we'd do a buck off a shot of whiskey to go in your Irish coffee."
As soon as the kinks get ironed out and its hours are more in sync with those of Whiskey Thieves, Little Bird's going to celebrate with a proper grand opening party. Stay tuned via their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Photo from Little Bird's Facebook.