Mon - Thu 8am - 5pm
Fri 8am - 8pm
Sat, Sun 9am - 5pm
Scarlet City Espresso Bar, where good coffee, pinball, science fiction, and community is a constant. The place that humanoids, aliens & androids will want to gather after the apocalypse.
We started out with one huge mission, to bring you the perfect cup of coffee. Driven to deliver the highest quality espresso to sip and enjoy at our space, or take home and brew for your household, one thing is certain - Scarlet City delivers bold, Northern-Italian-style flavors delectable to the last drop.
Things you should know when you visit Scarlet City - we're doing it our way, and this is our vision for the future.
The Coffee: We serve espresso drinks only - no pourovers, no drip, no Chemex, no Japanese cold brew. Just delicious, intense, multi-layered espresso made with our signature espresso blend, Warp Drive. Espresso that tastes like coffee smells - sweet and intoxicating, leaving a chocolaty aftertaste in your mouth, making you want another, and another, and another. Espresso that still tastes like coffee when milk is added. And for those times when another espresso is just too much we offer Robot Dreams, our decaf espresso, which is just as tasty without the buzz. You won't even believe it's decaf.
The Beans: We roast twice a week (Tue & Thu) at our warehouse in West Oakland, and sell our beans at the bar (decaf too!), available freshly on Weds & Fri. We do not offer grinding services at our location, but an alternative is to purchase it at Berkeley Bowl West, where you may use their in-store grinder if you need your coffee ground.
The Non-Dairy Alternative: Our non-dairy alternative is Oat Milk Original from Pacific Foods. We tried every single non-dairy option available and found oat to be the one that joined forces with our coffee in the most pleasing manner. Check it out & see for yourself!
The Food: We sell a variety of food from local vendors that we hope you'll enjoy. Baked goods from Sweet Bar; booze infused cupcakes & gluten-free/vegan cookies from Bump City Bakery; tamales from Tamaleria Azteca; jars of pickled delights and a special pickle plate from McVicker Pickles; and beers on tap from local brewers like Line 51, Benoit Casper, and Federation Brewing.
The Internet: We do not offer wi-fi. We thought carefully about the kind of space we wanted to create at Scarlet City - one where folks would come in to enjoy the coffee, the atmosphere, pinball, games, and to meet friends or business acquaintances to socialize or get work done without the distraction of endless access to the Internet or a struggle to find a seat among a sea of laptops. We wanted to be a destination for all these reasons, not just a second office space where the coffee & atmosphere could become lower priorities than an internet connection. A place to unplug, unwind, and Engage. And secretly, and now not so secretly, we wanted our space to feel more like Ten Forward or Star Wars' Cantina, where you might sidle up to bar and get some sage advice from Guinan. Internet use and working at Scarlet City is not discouraged at all, but the connection is simply one that the customer will need to provide themselves.
The Pinball: Yes, we have pinball! Check our current lineup on the Bay Area Pinball Map. Some of our machines take dollar bills and quarters, and some only take quarters, so we have a change machine that will change $5s & $1s. We also have the PayRange app for your mobile phone available, which provides a discount for all games on site. Please bring your own small bills, use the PayRange app, or make a purchase to get change for larger bills (sorry, we don't make change without a purchase).
The Music: We love music of all eras, all genres, all the past and the present and futuristic. Lots of disco, N.W.O.B.H.M., T.Rex, Lyrics Born, Dolly Parton, ABBA, Jean-Michele Jarre, Destiny's Child, Dandy Warhols, Ratatat, Wham! UK, Eurovision artists, times infinity ... guaranteed to hit your favorite genre at any nano second during your visit. Our lack of wi-fi, the pinball machines, sci-fi theme, beer on tap, and the volume of our music are all deliberate decisions we made to foster a lively atmosphere of fun, adventure, and a community space for all kinds of adult activities. Folks who want a slightly quieter space can enjoy our outside patio, enclosed by our Apocalypse Gardens.
The Sci-Fi Thing: We love science fiction, all kinds!!! Jen is a huge Star Trek fan, but our bar was inspired by Bladerunner, Star Wars and Star Trek (our bar is in the shape of the Star Trek insignia), and other faves of ours throughout the years : The Twilight Zone, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien(s), Total Recall, The Fifth Element, The Foundation Series (Asimov), Xenogenesis (Butler), Snow Crash (Stephenson), God's War (Hurley), Ender's Game (Card) and so many many more. Scarlet City is a city in the future (the year 2112), post-apocalypse, with a big problem - how to supply the citizens with coffee, which is now owned exclusively by the government and sold only to the wealthy, like many other commodities that in this future, are now rare. The solution involves a couple of smart, rebellious, and resourceful women who not only invent time travel, but also put together a team of other rebels to create a network dedicated to bringing coffee to the citizens of Scarlet City.