The genius of jones | haydu’s Coffee Bar Kearny is its revision to the industrial, concrete-walled space of a downtown San Francisco parking garage. A charred wood exterior, angular timbers, and a stark aesthetic make this coffee shop a fitting refuge for San Fran’s coffee-fueled citizens.
Approach from the street, and you notice first the the tall, red-and-white lettered PARKING sign, under which the coffee bar makes it home. Exterior wood siding is scorched to a charcoal black using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique. This both helps to fireproof the wood and seals the surface to make it more durable. The appearance though, is akin to black coffee seeping across a filter. It creates a sense of allure, one side charred black, the other a wood-grain ochre, and between, the entry.
The whole is elemental, stark, with products presented in neat lines along the inset shelves. The shelves fit perfectly within vertical wooden planks while angular-cut planks cross below to create a sloping illusion. The black treatment of the walls stretches out into the main counter, a serving and preparation surface, space divider, and decorative feature. Atop its wooden form, a blackened steel counter reflects the barista’s coffee artistry.
The space is infused with drama, not only in the shift from abandoned concrete shell to pedestrian port-of-call, but in the brewing and serving of the coffee which here is no less a performance. Even the pastries are showcased on their own neutral-toned plinths. It’s not merely a place to grab a drink, but a space to share an experience. Then, after the coffee is ground, the brown of bean turned black, and the ceremony ended at the bottom of a mug, it’s back to the outside world.
Photography by Art Gray