The Weekend Catch-Up: Long Live This Cornerstone of San Francisco Matcha

Plus: San Francisco’s “doom loop” tour was an epic failure — and exposed a City committee member as the organizer behind it.

In just five short years — two of those years marked by a carousel of pandemic-born closures, reopenings, and stay-at-home orders — Stonemill Matcha helped San Franciscans acquaint themselves with authentic matcha. The sprawling Mission District cafe was heralded as a touchstone for SF matcha heads; it, too, played a key role in the city’s reputation as a mecca for matcha along the West Coast.

Stonemill Matcha wasn’t only just an Instagram darling, it was an IRL source for ceremonial-grade matcha, matcha-inspired sweets (think matcha mochis and mooncakes), and a place to experience time collapse while holding handmade ceramic tea cups.

But one of San Francisco’s foremost matcha hubs closed for good over this weekend… snaked by lines that coiled the 561 Valencia Street address. Stonemill Matcha was inundated with so much support that the business had to pause delivery options in order to meet the in-person demand.


As some cheekily harped in the now-closed cafe’s IG comments — “The community has spoken, you shall not close!” — the overwhelming support from San Franciscans might be reason enough not to close. Alas, even those lines that were longer than reticulated pythons couldn’t thwart the inevitable; Stonemill Matcha enjoyed its last day of operation on Sunday, August 27th.

It was a somber moment for San Francisco matcha enthusiasts, no doubt. Thankfully, there is still a strong selection of places in the city to procure a smooth, grassy matcha. Let’s all send thoughts to whatever higher power you choose that Stonemill Matcha returns.

What else transpired over the weekend? Let’s take a look.

  • Gracias Madre in the Mission District is no more. The 14-year-old, plant-forward Mexican eatery at 2211 Mission Streets is yet “another victim” of the Covid-19 pandemic, Joseph Donohue, the general manager of the now-closed restaurant, citing that it never really got its footing back — despite making “all kinds of money” before the public health emergency. More info.
  • Saturday night saw two juveniles stabbed in Golden Gate Park. SFPD responded to a stabbing report at the 1200 block of John F. Kennedy Drive around 9:35 p.m. Saturday; the minors were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries; no arrests in the incidents have been reported yet. More info.
  • Lol @ SF’s failed “doom loop” tour (that was hosted by a City official). Saturday’s planned doom loop tour of San Francisco, which was marketed as a tour of SF’s most dystopian parts, was abruptly canceled… and… well, refunds for the canceled tour showed the email address of one Alex Ludlum, a land-use commissioner appointed by Mayor London Breed, who has since resigned. More info.
  • The largest octopus garden currently known to science is off the coast of California. A collection of over 6,000 of these hella smart cephalopods was found near an extinct underwater volcano two miles below the surface of the Central California coastline; these brooding females also appear to have their eggs hatch quicker because of the warm water. More info.

Feature image: Courtesy of [at]stonemillmatcha on Instagram

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