West Side Stories

‘West Side Stories’: Ocean Beach Cafe

A Sobar on the Beach 

By Valentine Batra

A couple blocks from where I live is a business called Ocean Beach Cafe. At first, I thought it was just a place one could buy coffee. But upon closer inspection, I realized Ocean Beach Cafe has an incredible selection of virgin drinks and self identifies as a ‘sobar’ – a sober bar. 

Ocean Beach Cafe Owner Josh James. Photos by Valentine Batra.

A beautiful bar serving non-alcoholic beverages with healthy ingredients and innovative flavors, Ocean Beach Cafe is also a community art space with constant events taking place, such as open mics, non-alcoholic wine tastings, beach clean ups, live music, etc. 

“There’s an unprecedented shift in drinking culture happening right now – not as many people are drinking alcohol as much or at all” owner Josh James explained. A long-time bartender, Josh decided to channel his cocktail-making skills into providing SF with the largest collection of delicious non-alcoholic drinks. From mixed drinks in a can to gin and whiskey, all of the drinks at Ocean Beach Cafe are incredibly popular and sophisticated. 

“A lot of our distributors can’t keep up with supply because demand is just too high right now” James said.

He opened Ocean Beach Cafe last year with the intent of providing alcohol, but the beer and wine license took so long to clear that in the meantime, Josh realized that the non-alcoholic drinks he was providing were selling so quickly they didn’t need the beer and wine license at all. This happy accident has led Ocean Beach Cafe to become the perfect meeting spot for a coffee or a glass of delicious non-alcoholic wine by the beach. 

“My goal is to get people to realize how cool this block is,” he said. True to its namesake, Ocean Beach Cafe is located right on the beach next to Singler Gym and TJ Cafe. It is a peaceful and community-oriented corner of the City. So come on down to the beach and check out Ocean Beach Cafe in the Outer Richmond!

Valentine Batra is a Richmond District resident and new contributor to RichmondSunsetNews.com. She started Heart & Soul, an Instagram page spotlighting local small businesses. She is currently a second grade teacher and is passionate about unearthing hidden history and shining a light on unknown and unique businesses in San Francisco.

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