Nathan Donato-Weinstein | Silicon Valley Business Journal
If you’re a fan of downtown San Jose’s B2 Coffee, you’re in luck: The popular cafe will open a new and expanded concept called “Social Policy” at the former Blackbird Tavern, a year after the restaurant at 200 South First St. went dark.
“We’ve always focused on coffee a lot, but this provides a bigger playground for us,” said Veronica Ruckman, an owner in the family-run business.
To wit, the new location will allow for a larger focus on bakery items, breakfast and lunch fare, and anytime “small plates.” Beer and wine will also be served.
The cafe is the third from the family, which started in 2006 with Bellano Coffee in Santa Clara when Ruckman was 22. The cafe was early to the high-end coffee trend, and soon developed a strong following. B2 opened in San Pedro Square Market in 2011, operating out of a cart for the first year or so before moving into a permanent space.
In recent years, the owners have expanded their in-house food production, making their own pastries, chocolate sauces, and even almond milk. The new space will have a larger kitchen to grow the menu further.
“So many people ask us, ‘Where can I get breakfast?’,” Ruckman said. “So we had our eye out for a space that would function more as a bakery-focused cafe experience. There will be more breakfast sandwiches, hot meals, as well as variety of things that can be quickly prepared and eaten off site.”
The name, she said, speaks to the goal of “bringing people together.”
The deal is the latest piece of food-oriented good news in downtown San Jose, which has seen its share of restaurant turnover in the last year or so ( Blackbird shut down about a year ago). In the last week, I wrote about Sushi Confidential taking over the former Sonoma Chicken Coop space. And another high-profile vacancy — the former Farenheit lounge at South Third and San Fernando streets — will soon be filled by a Pieology, the fast-growing, fast-casual pizza chain.
As for when you can check out Social Policy? The store is already under construction, and Ruckman said she hopes to be open before the end of the year.