COFFEE @ The Mill – San Francisco, CA 94117
The Mill at 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, is a big open and warm space with high ceilings and exposed beams. The intentionally unfinished cement floors reveal the premises’ industrial history. There’s a large communal table if you’re in the mood for nudging elbows with strangers-who-may-become-acquaintances, or you can pick from a number of smaller tables with chairs and stools or sit outside if you prefer. The showpiece, however, would have to be the fabulous knotted rope light fitting that appears to be floating, suspended with fishing line, above the communal table.
At The Mill there’s not just great coffee but some pretty incredible bread too. In fact, the owners mill their own whole grain flour every single day and use a sourdough starter that was established by one of their grandmothers years ago. It doesn’t get much more authentic, artisanal or wholesome than that! You can watch the bakers busy at work baking their famous bread, something I always find fascinating.
All in all, for a café that offers just two main products – coffee and bread – you’d expect both to be pretty special. I’m happy to report that The Mill delivers on both counts.
NOW & THEN around San Francisco, CA
The Ohlone and Coast Miwok groups of Native Americans lived in the San Francisco area prior to the arrival of Europeans in 1776. In 1846 when the United States of America annexed California, San Francisco had a population of less than a thousand people. When gold was discovered in 1848, prospectors arrived in their thousands and by 1849 the population had reached 25,000.
San Francisco has experience its fair share of disasters. In 1851 it was devastated by fire. In 1906 an earthquake, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale struck and the fires that followed raged for days as there was insufficient water to effectively put them out. Approximately 28,000 buildings were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes. In 1989 the San Andreas Fault again dealt San Francisco a crushing earthquake, which again leveled parts of San Francisco and severely damaged many of the city’s freeways.
San Francisco is famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, historic cable cars, and of course Lombard Street.
Lombard Street, known as “the world’s crookedest street”, is located on Potrero Hill. The street was deemed to be too steep for safe passage by cars or pedestrians, hence the construction of the twists and turns in the 1920s. Today, it’s quite a tourist attraction and thousands of visitors annually drive or take a walk through its crazy hairpin zigzags.
Interestingly, in 2016, San Francisco became the first major US city to pass a law requiring all new buildings below 10 stories to have rooftop solar panels.
A photographic record of my visit to San Francisco, CA
Surprisingly, San Francisco doesn’t appear to have a large stock of ‘Contemperiod’ architecture, at least not that is visible from the public domain. The following are a few of the examples I came across as I explored the city. Enjoy!
Historic buildings provide opportunities for ingenuity and originality. Every area has its own governing body that outline how contemporary layers can be added to significant heritage places. The Historic Preservation Commission is responsible for protecting San Francisco’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant sites and buildings. They grant them landmark or historic district status and regulate them after designation. For further information check out the City and County of San Francisco website.
Location Map – The Mill cafe