Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee has opened its newest cafe in a historic — and architecturally significant — building in downtown San Mateo.

The third-wave coffee specialist is now crafting pour-overs in the House of Merkel, known more recently as the building that housed Kingfish, an upscale Cajun-Creole restaurant, for more than 15 years.

According to city of San Mateo archives, the 1931 art deco building was designed by San Francisco architects Thomas Edwards and H. Schary. Structure highlights include terra cotta tiling, octagonal bays and arched windows. German immigrants Carl and Cuna Merkel had opened a cigar store on this site in 1918 and added a soda fountain, confectionary and liquor store to the House of Merkel when the new building was completed.

Blue Bottle was founded in 2002 by coffee aficionado James Freeman and now operates cafes in the Bay Area, Southern California, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Asia.

The new cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Details: 201 South B St., Suite A, San Mateo; https://bluebottlecoffee.com


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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