Two people in white work behind the counter of a cafe
Grand Coffee Too on opening day. Photo by Eleni Balakrishnan

The owners of much-loved theaterside coffee stand Grand Coffee opened a brand new neighborhood cafe today, just one block away from their original location.

By Thursday afternoon, Grand Coffee Too was bustling with people looking for an afternoon pick-me-up. Co-owner Adrian Lopez and a colleague were working the espresso machines and chatting with curious customers about the new space at 2544 Mission St., between 21st and 22nd streets.

The opening was announced on the Grand Coffee Instagram page, where the owners celebrated the long-awaited day after delays caused by permitting, construction, and bureaucratic hurdles. “We’re starting out slow as we catch our breath and get used to the new space, but we have big ambitions,” read the post from the three owners.

Grand’s founder, Nabeel Silmi, opened the original Grand Coffee adjacent to the Grand Theater at 2663 Mission St. in 2010, a tiny hole-in-the-wall that could only accommodate four customers on bar stools. It has operated through a to-go window since the pandemic. Silmi told Mission Local he was first approached three years ago about opening up the new cafe.

“I thought it was gonna be easy,” Silmi said, adding that he first expected to open up shop within six months. “There are a lot of details, you have to plan it, we had to get a loan, covid happened, we had to get permits approved.”

Grand Coffee on Mission St. between 22nd and 23rd streets. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

The new place is a whole new game: It’s bright and airy, and several times bigger than its precursor (which will remain open). The cafe takes up the front area of a multi-use space called El Taller (“the workshop”) that includes a gallery in the back and a maker space up on a mezzanine. When the permits come through from the city, they will have outdoor seating on the lively block that’s home to Laszlo, Arcana and the Alamo Drafthouse.

With this spot comes another blessing: The elusive Mission cafe open later than 4 p.m.: Grand Coffee Too will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

Silmi hopes the new cafe will bring with it new opportunities for his team to host events and engage more with the community, and serve as “a hub for neighbors to get to know each other over a cup of coffee.”

For now, Grand Coffee Too is serving up standard coffees and pastries, and the shelves are stocked with beans, but the plan is to expand to more specialty and seasonal drinks. On day one, they had misugaru (a Korean multigrain beverage) and sparkling pineapple tea on the menu “for those people that are already caffeinated,” according to Silmi.

In the not-too-distant future, the owners are planning what’s sure to be a grand opening celebration.


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REPORTER. Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim nearly 10 years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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