A new San Francisco cafe serving black toast, and other Bay Area restaurant openings

Natasha Podogova and Dee Derisse both felt bereft when their neighbourhood coffee shop shuttered during the epidemic. After learning that the Four Barrel Coffee in Portola will never reopen, the two neighbours, both artists and filmmakers, devised a plan.

Derisse, who used to work at Four Barrel, stated, “We wanted to revive the space since it’s so essential to the Portola area.” “It’s the local hangout where I’d see all of my neighbours every day.”

Hey Neighbor, a fresh new fourth wave coffee business that just opened in the former Four Barrel site, was formed when the two put their heads together. According to Podogova, it was a “stars aligning type of circumstance,” since the two had extremely similar ideas for the company.

“Our major fundamental objective at Hey Neighbor is to focus on recovering coffee’s true, actual roots,” Derisse stated. “… So we’re emphasising it via smart sourcing and teaching people about how it’s not just Portland, not just Latin America; it’s Asia, the West Indies, Turkey, Tunisia, and Sri Lanka.”

They went on to say, “We want to showcase coffee roasters who are the other faces of coffee.” “And, in this ever-expanding fabric of coffee culture, we want to incorporate and reflect populations who are frequently disregarded or overlooked.”

On the menu are coffees from Monterey’s Captain + Stoker, truffles from San Francisco’s Feve Chocolates, and black toast baked with an activated charcoal bread from Rize Up Bakery, a fellow San Francisco experimental initiative. Podogova and Derisse are also working on a new coffee drink menu and hope to organise art openings and other community events in the future.

“Our position is unique — there’s a garden community behind us, and it’s just naturally a spot where people congregate, hang out, and take a break,” Podogova explained. “All we have to do now is feed it, be present, and open our doors to people.”

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