Bi-Rite Street Cafe in the Works for Civic Center

The proposed new Bi-Rite street cafe would be outdoors and quite lovely, but would only carry soft serve ice cream.

If you don’t think San Francisco has enough options for standing in long lines waiting for ice cream, boy have we got a scoop for you. Eater SF has a series of reports in the last few days that a Bi-Rite street cafe is proposed at Civic Center Plaza, and that this ‘mini Bi-Rite’ would serve “soft serve ice cream, salads, and a ‘bad-ass’ breakfast sandwich.”

But it may not do right by Bi-Rite fans that the proposed Bi-Rite street cafe would carry only soft serve ice cream, not the hard, scooped stuff.

As seen in the above rendering in which ghosts have replaced human San Franciscans, the proposed Bi-Rite street cafe would be a sort of outdoor pop-up restaurant — but it would be permanent. The project still needs to be approved by the Planning Department, and is shooting for a February or March 2018 opening.

This project is part of a larger Civic Center Plaza renovation, all funded by a $10 million donation from a philanthropy called the Helen Diller Family Foundation. That foundation kicked down another million dollars to fund the Bi-Rite cafe, adding to the two really distinctive and fabulous  new playgrounds they’re proposing for the plaza.

Any discussion of Civic Center inevitably turns to the area’s chronic homelessness, which has only gotten worse during a phase of construction and repairs to the Civic Center BART station. The Department of Public Health and Department of Public Works have been particularly aggressive about clearing the homeless from Civic Center lately, the latest attempt in a decades-long effort to clean up the area best known for the terrifying final scene from the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers that has only gotten scarier and scarier since then.


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