We stumbled upon Oakland’s historic W.C. Morse building in a paradoxically modern fashion. About a year ago, our production artist, Michelle Ott, was biking past the building with a friend. Awed by its architecture, she pulled over and snapped a photo on her phone. This photo begat a text, which begat several awed visits, which then begat a giddy lease signing. This all begat several hundred hours of permitting headaches, but we’ll soon look back on those and laugh. We’re sure of it.
The cafe is just 2.5 miles from our Oakland headquarters – a proximity that we’ve found has enabled quite a bit of dreaming and experimentation. In addition to our normal menu of drip coffee, iced coffee and espresso, our baristas craft a small clutch of drinks befitting the tinkering a workshop implies: a Parisian-inspired Sowden Soft Brew Au Lait, along with a Cascara Fizz, which includes cascara tea, sparkling water, simple syrup, and a wedge of lemon. Belgian-style street waffles are available, as are steel-cut oats, elegant cakes, and the usual goodies from our pastry kitchen.
In a nod to Morse’s blue-collar origins as the East Bay’s first-ever truck showroom, we’ve relocated our Tech department to the space and stocked it with an array of the best home machines on the market. Our techs are available to provide instruction, pointers and repairs to machines of all varieties.