3434 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412137.775876 -122.495818
Neighborhoods: Northwest, Outer Richmond
Bad coffee and bad attitudes – I so wanted to like this place. It's only a block from my house. But the people who work there are rude, uppity, if-youre-not-a-hipster get lost, gen x slackers who must really hate their jobs. It shows in the coffee: we drive to Peets every day.
A Pleasurable Experience – I used to live down the street from Simple Pleasures and it was always a safe haven for me to go if I had to study and my roommates were being too loud or I just wanted a good cup of joe and a yummy dessert. The staff is young and always seems to be having a great time at work. They are very welcoming and willing to give you advice on the best thing to eat or drink. There coffee is made in the beanery next door to the cafe. There is a constant flow of interesting patrons hanging around playing music, drink coffee or beer, and playing an array of board games that are offered by Simple Pleasures. They also have beers on tap, which is never a bad thing. I think the friendly vibe of this place makes it what it is a pleasurable experience.
Best coffee around – Looking for a great cafe and a place to relax and recharge?
Simple Pleasures on Balboa could almost be classified as a sanctuary that also serves coffee.
This is a place to escape to, have a coffee or a beer and maybe something to eat while you read a book or sit with a friend and solve the world's problems.
The staff is full of jive and always has a smile, but what really sets the place apart is the people behind the counter know exactly what they're doing. They crank out the absolutely positively best coffee drinks on the planet. Simple Pleasures even roasts their own beans (a few doors up the street). There is always fresh pastries and good food, and everything is fairly priced.
On most evenings, and on Sunday afternoons, you can even catch live music, all of which can be best described as seriously eclectic; jazz, folk, ethnic, classical, or even Steven Strauss and his ukulele (fantastic). You never know what you're going to get. The layout of the place is such that the music can't overpower the whole space. If you'd rather carry on a conversation you can hang out up front, or grab an outside table.
The decor isn't pretentious; just well worn and relaxing. The place is definitely not trying to make an artistic or architectural statement. There's no scraping metal chairs on concrete floors or avant-garde hollow industrial acoustics. It's just funky and very comfortable.
At any given time the clientele is a cross section of local folks and visitors: New age, punk, tech, old lefties, some buried in a laptops or a book, people who were strangers five minutes earlier discussing the world. Everyone is always made to feel welcome and at home, which is exactly how a cafe' should be.
Rude Staff (especially in the morning), Floors and WALLS seem like they have not been cleaned in a year. – I live nearby to Simple Pleasures and have been a patron for over 8 years.
It used to be a nice place to come to read a book, listen to live music, or just relax with other neighbors.
However, something has gone terribly wrong with management of this cafe.
1) they have hired rude counter people and do nothing to remedy it.
-- there is a man (i won't say gentleman) who acts like he hates to be there. he constantly
counts out the minutes (aloud) to the end of his shift, and I saw him deride a customer in front of me (with
sarcasm, and then loudly going to each counter person saying -- hey check this out ... he wants
"no room" in his coffee. go to starbucks fella!" -- and then proceeds to fill the cup only 75% full. I felt
sorry for the unwelcome customer
2) If you walk to the back area (past the piano and very disgusting couches) look on the walls under the tables, and you will find coffee stains from over a year ago. There are crumbs from patron's food on the floor, and frankly I dont sit on the couch anymore because I just dont know what is on those.
It's really too bad. Management has made too much money from this place and they have forgotten, that it is RESPECT and APPRECIATION for their customers which got them this far. They need to train their staff better, or simply get people who care about service and a SIMPLY PLEASURABLE experience at Simple Pleasure Cafe.
It is also too bad that they have hired staff who don't clean up! This is a health code violation just waiting to happen.
Laid-back spot for coffee, games and conversation in the far Outer Richmond. – In Short
Neighborhood locals lounge and discuss everything from politics to surf conditions at this casual Outer Richmond cafe. Vintage details such as stained glass lamps and a parquet floor are all but hidden by well-worn, comfy furnishings. Stacks of games mark the entrance to a back room filled with sofas and low tables. Fresh baked goods and draft brews beckon from the counter. A Japanese-style mural of ochre waves crashes over one wall. One lone, dusty computer gets little use.
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