There is a trend in San Francisco that I think is worth noting. Coffee has become the new Martini.
Time was when businessmen did countless deals over Martinis. It was the time of Mad Men, Madison Avenue, Don Draper, suits, and lots and lots of alcohol. In fact, if the TV Show Mad Men is to be believed, it was the time of cheap and plentiful replacement livers. These guys drank so much every
day meeting that it was no wonder they were well preserved into their 50s and later.
San Francisco has its share of bars that serve excellent classic drinks. From Bourbon and Branch to the House of Shields, there are literally dozens of places to get a well made strong drink within walking distance of my office. Yet, I don’t know anyone in BD that goes to those bars except to unwind. What is the beverage of choice then for dealmaking and partnerships? Coffee.
Americano, Latte, Double Half Caf Machiado extra slim extra hot with Stevia. It just doesn’t matter. A bevy of once hipster, now just barely mainstream coffee brands and shops have popped up over the past 5 years and it’s fantastic. Blue Bottle, Ritual, Bicycle, Four Barrel. The list goes on. What’s more, these aren’t Starbucks like coffee shops…big commercial highly branded locations. No, no, going to Starbucks is for your Mom. It’s just not cool. And who wants to do a partner deal with their Mom? Not me, that’s for sure (sorry Mom)!
I want cool, I want hip, I want to be known as someone who knows the secrets to the cool life in town. And that means kiosk and garage and street truck coffee. Fortunately it’s great. Hot. And there’s plenty of it.
So, farewell Martini. No more returning to the office three sheets to the wind. It’s time to make the coffee, and gear up for a productive afternoon!