Two Four Barrel Coffee partners and a former Tartine pastry chef are teaming up to open a new San Francisco bakery.

Two business partners from San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee and the Mill have teamed up with a former pastry chef from Tartine Bakery to open Loquat at 198 Gough St., at Oak Street, in October.

The cafe will serve baked goods inspired by the Jewish diaspora and Levantine flavors, from labne cheesecakes topped with roasted figs to Turkish coffee cream pie. Cups of Four Barrel espresso will arrive with a complimentary treat like house-made halvah or candied citrus.

Tal Mor and Jodi Geren joined Four Barrel, a popular San Francisco coffee roaster and cafe, in 2009 and then became minority owners in 2012. They later took over sole ownership of the company after CEO Jeremy Tooker stepped down in 2018 amid allegations of sexual harassment and attack. They also co-own San Francisco’s the Mill with bread whiz Josey Baker.

At Loquat, Mor and Geren have been working with former Tartine pastry chef Kristina Costa to create a menu that draws inspiration from Mor’s roots: He moved from Israel to the United States when he was 5 years old, and has family from Iraq, Palestine and Eastern Europe. (Loquat is named for the fruit that grows on trees both in Israel and the South Bay, where Mor grew up.)

“Jewish diaspora has always fascinated me, especially in food,” he said. “Jewish food is incredibly diverse and complex because Jews have been spread across the world.”

Loquat will serve several kinds of babka, including salted chocolate and cinnamon sugar.

Justin Katigbak/Speical to The Chronicle

When Loquat opens, the pastry case will be filled with baked goods like babka, cakes, cookies and tarts. Costa’s babka is laminated to create flaky layers and is served as large loaves or mini individual rolls with flavors like lemon-poppy seed, salted chocolate and cardamom-ricotta.

Costa will also bake bourekas, a flaky Sephardic pastry and childhood favorite of Mor’s, with house-made phyllo dough layered with savory combinations like fried sage and ricotta, or spiced potato and caramelized onions. Customers will be able to order these warm with an egg and zhough, the herby, spicy Yemeni condiment. (Mor delights in recounting the history of the dish, which evolved after Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, and adapted Turkish borek pastries to meet kosher requirements.)

Beyond espresso, Loquat will serve fresh mint tea and black tea with mint. All pastries and drinks will be made with jersey milk from Petaluma’s Double 8 Dairy.

Kristina Costa, Tartine Bakery's former lead pastry chef, is behind the baked goods at Loquat in San Francisco.

Kristina Costa, Tartine Bakery’s former lead pastry chef, is behind the baked goods at Loquat in San Francisco.

Justin Katigbak/Speical to The Chronicle

The business also wants to sell retail items like bottles of Palestinian olive oil, as well as vinegars, locally milled flour, wine, chocolate, coffee and spices.

Loquat will operate as a daytime cafe to start, but the owners plan to eventually host events and serve natural wine in the evenings. Look out for sabich nights, devoted to the Israeli sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs and tahini — made on fresh laffa, an Iraqi flatbread baked in a tandoor oven. They enlisted Baker, known for his whole grain sourdough loaves, to help develop the flatbread recipe.

The team has mostly preserved the space as it was during 20th Century’s time: The open kitchen remains, as does a banquette of deep red mohair seats along the right side of the cafe. The owners repainted the walls in a warm maroon color and added plants and custom ceramics from Mexico. Loquat will have 25 seats inside, with a plan to add benches outside.

Loquat will serve pastries and espresso from Four Barrel Coffee.

Loquat will serve pastries and espresso from Four Barrel Coffee.

Justin Katigbak/Speical to The Chronicle

Before owner Michelle Polzine closed 20th Century Cafe, she reached out to Mor and Geren and asked if they would want to take over the space. The timing was perfect.

“It’s a space we always admired and loved spending time in,” Mor said. “We couldn’t bear seeing it turned into anything but a bakery.”

While waiting to open the doors on Gough Street, the team has been quietly testing Loquat sweets by selling them at Four Barrel on Valencia Street, the Mill and Blackbird Bookstore in the Outer Sunset, like chocolate-tahini cookies and an Earl Gray spelt olive oil cake. The businesses will continue to serve Loquat baked goods after the cafe opens.

loquat. OpeningOctober. 7am-3pm Thursday, Friday, Monday; 8am-4pm Saturday-Sunday. Closed Tuesday-Wednesday. 198 Gough St., San Francisco.

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