La Bande — San Francisco, USA
Amidst the cacophony of San Francisco’s world-renowned coffee scene emerges a new player: La Bande, a self-styled ‘new fashioned’ canteen located at the Mid-Market district’s Proper Hotel in a restored 1909 flatiron building.
LA-based designer Kelly Wearstler’s eclectic multilayered aesthetic dresses the hotel guestrooms and public spaces and this now continues at La Bande, with the interior a fluid extension of Proper’s patchwork of textures, colour, and contemporary and vintage furniture pieces. Wearstler pays homage to both Secession movement and French conceptual artist Daniel Buren in her modern interpretation of a European café, marked by brass accents and with a cipollino marble bar at its heart. The café takes its name – La Bande is French for ‘the stripe’ – from the overarching motif represented in slatted blinds, glazed green linear wall and floor tiles, and sporadic interjections of monochromatic striping. It’s a striking space that encourages day-long idling.
And the food is pretty good too. From the now obligatory breakfast burrito to charcuterie plates and chopped salads, the menu is short, simple and well-executed. The real star of the show, however is the coffee; endless options which are served up with gusto and sourced from Emeryville Counter Culture, including an on-tap nitro cold brew. Come evening time these are replaced by brews of a different kind, with local craft beers and cocktails taking centre stage. §