The Inside Scoop: New Bi-Rite Cafe coming to Civic Center Plaza

As a result of yet another major gift, the Civic Center Commons will soon offer a street cafe to serve as a central gathering space for Commons visitors.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and Civic Center Community Benefit District (CCCBD) announced that Helen Diller Family Foundation expanded its $10 million donation (made in 2015 to fund the design and construction of two new vibrant, state-of-the-art playgrounds), with an additional $1 million street cafe, and idea prompted by extensive outreach regarding the playgrounds.

The original gift has served as a catalyst for a renewed focus on improving and activating San Francisco’s central public spaces through the Civic Center Commons Initiative.

CCCBD selected Bi-Rite, a family-owned San Francisco institution since 1940, to be the operator of the cafe, which will provide soft serve ice cream and a variety of fresh foods.

“Creating community through food is why we exist,” said Sam Mogannam, second-generation owner of Bi-Rite. “And we’re honored to be asked to be a part of the fun and togetherness that this project is going to create in the heart of the City.”

The Street Cafe is still in design phase, but shouldn’t be too far behind the completion of the Helen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds set to open in spring of 2018. But that doesn’t mean Commons visitors had to wait to sample some of Bi-Rite’s delicious, world-renowned ice cream.

San Francisco came out in force during the October edition of Commons Thursdays to redeem the several hundred tokens—good for one flavorful cup—Bit-Rite in collaboration with CCCBD donated and distributed ahead of the October event.

The street cafe, to be located at the corner of Grove and Larkin Streets, will offer a variety of food and drink selections as well as movable tables and seating for the public to relax and enjoy recreation activities at Civic Center Plaza.

Currently in the Commons, SF Rec and Parks Department offers Zumba classes, youth soccer, adult bocce ball, adult kickball, and volleyball games as well as food trucks in partnership with Off-The-Grid on a weekly basis.

Art, music, sports, and perhaps most of all, food, are among the things we look toward in bringing people together, illuminating that which we have in common. We hungrily await the arrival of the Civic Center Street Cafe, soon to be yet another vehicle for you to find what #wehaveincommons.

Read more on SF Eater and  SF Weekly.

World Cup 2018 Finals at Civic Center Plaza

Calling all soccer fans! Cheer on your favorite team at Civic Center Plaza on July 15 at 8 am, as the two last teams battle it out on the big screen.

The live and free viewing will also feature bites and drinks from food trucks, and soccer games and activities for all ages. More info can be found at worldcupsf.com.

Please note: The semifinal games on Tuesday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 11 at 11 am have moved to Embarcadero’s Sue Bierman Park (Washington and Drumm Street). These games will also feature food trucks and activities for all!

Thanks for Joining us at the July 1st Commons Block Party

Thank you to everyone who helped make the launch to the Commons 1st Sunday Block Party a success! On July 1st, approximately 2,500 people joined us at the 1st Sunday Block Party on Fulton Street. Attendees enjoyed a special performance and juggling workshop by San Francisco’s own Circus Bella, free dance/movement workshops with Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, an interactive exhibit by the designers from NONAPS at the Village Artist Corner, block printing tutorials by Jenny Lemons, a LEGO build station by the Department of Children Youth and Families, and more! Click here to see more photos of the July 1st event on the Civic Center Commons Facebook page. 

Civic Center Commons is hosting weekend block parties on the 1st Sunday of every month now through November 4th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Main Public Library. These FREE family-friendly events feature recreational activities for all ages, a selection of bar and street food offerings curated by Off the Grid, music and promotional appearances by Bonneville San Francisco, an open-air bazaar with one-of-a-kind goods created by local SF Etsy artisans, DIY arts and crafts activities, and other rotating attractions.  

The next 1st Sunday Commons Block Party will be on August 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Fulton Street at Larkin. This event will feature:

We look forward to seeing you out there! Learn more about August 5th event  here, and invite friends and neighbors via Facebook or Eventbrite.