Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
That’s what the San Francisco weather gods must be thinking as the heat hit record temperatures yesterday and many residents redirected their usual complaints about the chilly summer weather to moans about too much sweat.
“Human beings, we are a very complicated machine,” said Marco Boujebha, owner of Progressive Grounds Coffee on Bryant and 21st, as he ate a salad in his breeze-blessed café. “We complain about everything. When weather is bad, we complain. When weather is good, the disease of complaining doesn’t go away.”
Despite some whining, cafés in the Mission District reported strong business during the heat wave. Customers found shelter to chill down with iced coffee, ice cream and whatever else was colder than they were.
“Everyone wanted iced coffee. When we ran out of iced coffee everyone wanted iced Americanos, which are way more annoying to make,” said barista Emily Davis of Coffee Bar on Mariposa and Alabama.
Employees said customers were slow and lethargic, but not unfriendly. The heat made them “more forgiving of us dropping things or messing things up,” Davis said.
Coffee Bar customer Alan McCarthy, originally from England, said the complaining reminded him of home, where people grumble about the temperature whether it’s high or low.
The high temperatures nudged customers to get food and drinks to go rather than sit inside, according to Dulce Guiterrez, manager at La Taza on Mission Street.
Javier Juarez, cashier and dishwasher at L’s Caffé on 24th Street, said business slowed there Tuesday when temperatures blazed to a record-high 99 degrees.
“Maybe it was too hot in here and people left to the parks and the beach,” he speculated.
Places like Revolution Café on 22nd Street have outdoor spaces, which helps draw street wanderers on a hot, stuffy day. More than a handful of cafés and bars have such areas, including Zeitgeist, Atlas Café, Tartine, Haus, La Bohème, Stable Café and the Coffee Bar.
Sometimes, though, not even a patio is enough to keep customers, said Mark Matos of Revolution Café. “We always have an exodus to Dolores Park midday, but they always manage to find their way back here.”
It wasn’t just cold coffee that people were craving as they roasted. A glass of beer or cold wine also sounded good.
“We definitely had some daytime drinking here,” said Davis.