Owner Joshua James specializes in sourcing hard-to-find non-alcoholic beers.
Joshua James opened Ocean Beach Cafe on Friday, January 22, just a block from the beach and Golden Gate Park.
After working as a bartender for 20 years, James checked into substance abuse recovery and quit drinking. He made over 50 videos reviewing non-alcoholic (NA) beverages on Instagram and YouTube as @joshthenonalcoholic, which helped him to cultivate a wide selection of NA craft beers, wines, and more.
Less than a year later, he’s now the proud owner of a new cafe on the beach, dedicated to building the most extensive selection of non-alcoholic drinks in the world.
“Drinking culture has shifted,” said James. “People aren’t commuting to work and going to bars afterwards. That’s a huge shift. So they’re drinking at home and wondering why.”
“There are a thousand different reasons for one to not want to consume alcohol. From pregnancy, to allergies. There are people, I will say a minority, in significant and early recovery and I want to make it clear I’m not going to them like ‘Hey, you gotta try this NA IPA, it’s amazing!'”
“I lived in a sober living environment for the last 9 months and know that side of things well. This is tapping a much larger audience and building awareness. Awareness that there is a choice.”
James, who is Tolowa, decorated the cafe’s exterior in the colors of the Native American medicine wheel. Food options include a healthy spread of breakfast burritos, salads, pastries, and Hawaiian-style chicken and avocado toast. There are also smoothies, juices, seltzers, and coffee options.
At the moment, Ocean Beach Cafe’s NA selection is limited to bottles and cans, but James will soon launch a cocktail menu complete with happy hour from 3:30-6:30. Non-alcoholic liquor options include whiskey, rum, tequila, gin, and vodka flavors.
When it comes to the word ‘mocktail,’ James asserts: “We aren’t mocking anything. We are an unpretentious, hospitality- and wellness-focused establishment.”
“One of the main ingredients in a cocktail is the company that you keep. We will take our passions and experience to create a space that’s inclusive and bolsters this significant shift in drinking culture.”
Ocean Beach Cafe also seeks to support and collaborate with local businesses and creators. James plans on featuring art from rotating artists within the cafe, and if their work is sold, all proceeds will go back to the artist.
If you’re looking for healthy and creative food options, plus quality non-alcoholic drinks, be sure to visit Ocean Beach Cafe at 734 La Playa Street in San Francisco. Hours are 7am-7pm seven days a week, and beach delivery is coming soon!
In the words of owner Joshua James, “This is not a fad. This is a movement. This is about having choices and amazing ones at that.”
Join the movement with Ocean Beach Cafe!
[Featured image: Courtesy of Joshua James]