Coffeebar, Redwood City

The circular sign from outside Coffeebar, a stylised lion's head with flowing mane, the words "Coffeebar" at the top and "Redwood City" at the bottom, flanked by the letters NV (Nevada, left) and CA (California, right)Coffeebar is an interesting coffee shop/roastery chain spread across a diverse set of locations in California (four) and Nevada (Reno). Founded in 2010 in Truckee, California (which I passed through on the California Zephyr in 2019), the original coffee shop is still there, where it’s been joined by a bakery, although the roastery is now in Reno (which l also passed through on the California Zephyr). From that eastern base, Coffeebar spread to the Bay Area with two locations on the peninsula, Menlo Park, which arrived in 2018, and the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, Redwood City Coffeebar, which opened in September 2019.

Located on Broadway, a short walk from the Caltrain/bus station, it’s a lovely spot in an old, high-ceilinged building providing plenty of space, with as much seating outside under the shade of mature trees lining the pedestrianised street. Coffeebar offers the Zephyr blend and Prima Donna decaf on espresso, while there are two blends on batch brew, the dark roast Giuseppe and a rotating lighter roast (Trailhead during my visit), plus three single-origins on pour-over through the Kalita Wave/Modbar. There’s also tea, beer, wine and, if you’re hungry, breakfast, lunch and a range of cakes and pastries.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The pedestrianised section of Broadway, looking west from its junction with Main Street.
  • It's a beautiful, tree-line spot, with the restaurants and cafes spilling out onto the street...
  • ... one of which is in this beautiful old building on the north side of Broadway.
  • The view from the pavement, heading west towards the Old Courthouse.
  • It's the Coffeebar, by the way, part of a small, regional coffee shop/roastery chain.
  • The colourful A-board shows off all the seasonal drinks.
  • This is the view of the outdoor seating, seen from in front of Coffeebar.
  • There are about 10 of these fold-up tables and chairs on the pavement and in the street.
  • The front of Coffeebar, occupying what was once Youngs, a drug store and stationers.
  • The structure itself is the Fitzpatrick Building...
  • ... which was built in 1905.
  • The broad, central door is slightly recessed in the centre. Let's go in.
  • A view of the door from just inside. Turning around...
  • ... the L-shaped counter is at the back on the right-hand side. Before we go there, let's...
  • ... take a tour of the seating, starting at the front, where tables occupy the two windows.
  • The seating is in two parts, leaving the centre of the Coffeebar clear.
  • After window table to the left of the door comes this large, six-person communal table...
  • ... followed by three two-person tables along the exposed brick of the left-hand wall.
  • A view of the tables from the back.
  • More tables are to the right of the door, starting with the four-person one in the window.
  • This is followed by four tables arranged in a square. The front two are two-person...
  • ... while the back two, by the counter, each seat four.
  • There's some neat artwork, including this, which stares at you from the back wall.
  • To business. The counter is at the back on the right...
  • ... with shelves for merchandising (front) and retail (back) to the left.
  • There's the usual merchandising, including t-shirts, hoodies and coffee cups...
  • ... all of which are branded. This one in particular caught my eye.
  • The retail shelves are packed with bags of Coffeebar coffee...
  • ... including a selection of single-origins in these very colourful packages.
  • Turning to the counter, there's a display case at the front...
  • ... full of soft drinks and various goodies to tempt you...
  • ... including chocolate brownies.
  • There are also some pastries on the countertop next to the display case.
  • Moving on, you order in this section of the counter, where there are moving menus...
  • ... on three panels on the wall. There are some breakfast and lunch items...
  • ... while the other two panels have some interesting messages...
  • ... which change through the day.
  • There's a more conventional menu set-up next to the till...
  • ... with food on the left and drinks on the right.
  • Coffeebar also has a range of seasonal drinks.
  • The day's various coffees (espresso and batch brew filter) are displayed in the back corner.
  • The Zephyr blend is always on espresso (along with decaf) with all the shots...
  • ... pulled on these three Modbar groups which stand on the rear section of the counter.
  • Moving along, Coffeebar also uses the Modbar pour-over modules.
  • There are three choices on pour-over, with the doses already weighed out in canisters.
  • I went with the Edilma Loaiza from Colombia, the barista’s recommendation...
  • ... and had great fun watching the Modbar do its magic...
  • ... making my coffee using a Kalita Wave filter. Click on the picture for a video.
  • My coffee was served in the carafe it was made in, a handleless cup to the side...
  • ... all presented on a neat, wooden tray.
  • My coffee, seen from above. However, I'll leave you...
  • ... with this large slice of chocolate-covered biscotti, which I had with my coffee.
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Redwood City Coffeebar is on Broadway, a pleasingly wide street running east-west through the heart of Redwood City. The section from the Old Courthouse (west) to the junction with Main Street (east), is pedestrianised, enabling Coffeebar and its neighbouring restaurants and cafes to spill out onto the street. Coffeebar has made full use of this, with about 10 tables loosely arranged on the broad pavement, with a few extending onto the street itself, roughly bounded by a pair of octagonal planters, one on either side of Coffeebar, which is on the north side of the street.

Each of the planters, part of a row that line the street (with a similar row on the southern side), is home to a large, mature tree. These combine with their neighbours to form a near-continuous green canopy across the street, providing shade for the tables. Coffeebar occupies the Fitzpatrick Building, which was built in 1905 and which, at one time, was home to Youngs, a drug store and stationers.

The front of Coffeebar is almost all glass, with the door slightly recessed in the middle, flanked by a large square window on either side. Along the top, three panels of coloured glass bear the words “Drugs”, “Youngs”, “Stationery” (reading left to right). Inside, Coffeebar occupies a single, large space, with the seating arranged in an L-shape along the left-hand wall and across the front (where it’s interrupted by the door), while the counter mirrors it, running down the right-hand side (where you order) and across the back (where the coffee is made and where you also collect your drinks when they’re ready, along with online orders), leaving the middle of the space clear.

The seating is a mix of individual two- and four-person tables, along with a single, large six-person communal table against the left-hand wall towards the front. The counter starts on the right, about a third of the way along the wall, leaving space for fives tables to the right of the door, starting with a two-person table in the window and followed by two rows, each with two tables.

You order along the right-hand side of the counter, where you’ll also find various display cases for the cakes and various soft drinks, along with menus on the wall. Meanwhile, running parallel to the counter to your left is a retail and merchandising section, where you can pick up bags of any of Coffeebar’s blends or single-origins.

Once you’ve paid, shuffle along to your left, where the counter runs across the back of the space, ending just short of the left-hand wall. This is home to a three-group Modbar installation, along with two pour-over modules, which makes it a great place to watch your coffee being made while you wait. I’d ordered a pour-over, going with the Edilma Loaiza from Colombia, the barista’s recommendation (the Rutas del Inca from Peru and the Masha, from Burundi, were also available). I had great fun watching the Modbar do its magic, making my coffee using a Kalita Wave filter.

The resulting coffee was served in a carafe, along with a lovely, handleless ceramic cup, both presented on a small wooden tray. Promising much, it more than delivered, a bold, fruity brew which more than held its own as it cooled, allowing me to linger over my coffee as I sat outside in the sun. I paired it with a biscotti which was crumblier than I’m used to, but which made it a lot easier to eat without breaking my teeth! Fully refreshed, I set off to the station to catch the Caltrain back to Sunnyvale.

2020 BROADWAY • REDWOOD CITY • CA 94063 • USA
www.coffeebar.com +1 650 779 0466
Monday 07:00 – 17:00 Roaster Coffeebar (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 17:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 17:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with login)
Sunday 07:00 – 17:00 Power No
Chain Regional Visits 23rd July 2022

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