UPDATE October 2018: The Civic Center Plaza Bi-Rite Cafe is now open!
Original post: 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.