A new coffee shop that is part of a popular San Francisco chain opened in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood today with Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials on hand to celebrate the company’s expansion.

Philz Coffee, which started in 2003 in the Mission District and has since expanded to several other locations in the city, opened its newest shop today at 399 Golden Gate Ave. at Larkin Street.

Lee said the opening is an example of ongoing improvements in the Tenderloin, citing another celebration he attended earlier today for new low-income housing by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.

“There’s a lot going on in the Tenderloin,” the mayor said.

Lee announced a $500,000 grant available for improvements to storefronts in the Tenderloin, a small portion of which is being used for signage at the new Philz location.

Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the Tenderloin, said Golden Gate Avenue in particular is seeing positive changes, including down the street from Philz with the construction of a new dining room for the non-profit St. Anthony Foundation.

Kim said she had been looking forward to the opening of the new Philz shop, which is operating out of a building constructed in 2009 by the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Philz Coffee CEO Jacob Jaber said, “We saw the Tenderloin as a clear opportunity to be located in the very heart of San Francisco.”

Jaber said, “We hope this will serve as a catalyst for other small and large businesses to locate into the area and join us in creating a thriving community.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Elsewhere: Tenderloin scores Philz Coffee [Biz Times]

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