Alameda Coffee Culture Thrives with Four New Cafes

No matter where you live on the Island, a coffee shop  has recently opened near you. Brendan Doherty and  Rebecca Brown welcome you to stop by Signal Coffee  Roasters on Webster Street.
Signal Coffee Roasters

Alameda Coffee Culture Thrives with Four New Cafes

Coffee culture is alive and well in Alameda with the grand opening and reopening of four new cafes. No matter where you live on the Island, one has recently opened near you.

Bay Farm Island Starbucks: On Saturday, Nov. 13, Starbucks celebrated the grand opening of its first drive-through in Alameda at 980 Island Drive. Festivities included a performance by the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus, face painting, and a presentation by Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. Councilmember Trish Herrera Spencer, Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi, and other Alameda police officers also attended.

The mayor praised Starbucks store manager Andrew Andehuesen for hiring locals, noting that 85% of the shop’s employees live on Bay Farm Island and 90% live in Alameda, including 16 Alameda High School students who live on Bay Farm.

Aside from a drive-through, the Bay Farm site features high ceilings, a large skylight and ample seating. The location is open seven days a week until 9 p.m.

Signal Coffee Roasters: On the West End, Signal Coffee Roasters at 1536 Webster St. also celebrated the grand opening of its café on Nov. 13. Festivities included free drip coffee, a pop-up donut selection from Souled Out Pastries, music by Jazz Mafia Music, and a ribbon-cutting by Mayor Ashcraft. There is an indoor seating area and an outdoor patio in the back. Pastries are locally sourced.

On his website, owner Brendan Doherty says, “An opportunity presented to take this unique historical building on Webster Street in our home city and turn it into a hub of culture, art, community, and coffee. With the enthusiasm and generous contributions of dear friends, we have risen to the challenge.”

According to Doherty, Signal sources beans from ethical sources, roasts in Oakland, and partners with organizations supporting community development. The café is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to its café, Signal offers coffee beans from around the globe, shipped via monthly or bimonthly subscription, individual or gift purchase. Complimentary door drop delivery is available to Alameda residents.

The Local: After a long period of closure due to the pandemic, The Local at 1333 Park St. celebrated its grand reopening under new ownership on Nov. 12 with complimentary coffee, wine, food, music and a clown crafting balloon animals for children. It is newly renovated with a cozy café feel. They serve pour-over coffees, espresso drinks, and teas. There are bagels and a case full of pastries.

Indoor and outdoor seating is available, including small tables for laptops, large tables for groups, and easy chairs by the window. The outdoor seating is on Alameda Avenue.

The Local is open at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They close at 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Coffee Cultures: Speaking of coffee culture, Coffee Cultures at 1926 Park St. at the corner of Blanding Avenue not far from the Park Street Bridge opened earlier this year on May 31. They serve specialty coffee and tea, soft-serve ice cream, yogurt parfaits, and pastries.

The space enjoys picture window views of Park Street and has a private courtyard with a custom mural by Alameda native David Burke. Owner Jason Paul has three Coffee Cultures cafes in San Francisco but says the Park Street location is special to him as he was born and raised in Alameda. Coffee Cultures is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 4 p.m. on weekends.

Whatever your style of coffee shop, Alameda has you covered.

Karin Jensen is a freelance writer.