Workshop Cafe: Your Third Office


Today I ended up working in the city which I haven’t done in about 7+ years. I’ve been working at really awesome place so the urge to work in the city hasn’t compelled me to go find a job in yet another dot com in SOMA. But today work needed to be done and I really didn’t want to do a long commute back home so I tried out Workshop Cafe.

This is Workshop Cafe’s description of who they are:

Workshop Cafe is both a great coffee shop and a workplace that scales to your needs. Designed with comfort, ergonomics, and amenities for work and pleasure, the full Workshop experience is just $2/hour, with no monthly commitment. Come in for a few minutes, stay all day, or hang out in the always-free outside patio and inside lounge areas.

I was in there for about 4 hours and it was a very pleasant experience. Like the spectacled hipster coders next to me, I had my MacBook Pro and my iPhone next to me (playing The Social Network through Rdio) while I worked through my work’s social media updates. Ok. Roll your eyes. Yeah I could’ve been in there writing on paper with a real pen while reading Baudelaire in hardcover format. But Elaine needs to pay bills. And she needs wifi to make that happen. Workshop Cafe gives me what I need.  The place is roomy. It’s clean. And the workers are not angry that you’ve been sitting at the same table drinking water for 4 hours.

The majority of the people there were definitely young folks coding for their startups. And it’s not that hard to figure out why. The wifi is fast, coffee and espresso can be requested through the Workshop Cafe app, and there’s POWER STRIPS EVERYWHERE!!! Now you don’t have to be that weird person whipping out your own power strip. (FWIW Belkin makes a great one.)

In this picture below notice the three big monitors in the back. You know what that means. You don’t have to be that crazy person who brings their own display monitor to Starbucks. Workshop Cafe lets you jack into any of these monitors. And if you want to sit, you can sit. But if you want to be part of the whole “standing while working” craze, you can do that too.

Workshop Cafe SF

Workshop Cafe has thought through everything and it shows. But the one detail they haven’t figured out is what to do with your stuff when one needs to go to the restroom. I noticed several people would just leave their MacBooks on the table when they had to go to the loo. Some had their friends watch over their stuff. Some people were clearly alone and they just left their iPhone, purse, and laptop right there. On the table. Just sitting there. For ANYONE to just grab and run.

I have problems with this but it’s not Workshop Cafe’s fault. It’s that person who so naively believes the world is trustworthy and no one would hurt me.

No. This is the city. Pack your thousands of dollars of stuff and bring it with you to the loo.

My only request from Workshop Cafe is consider putting stronger hooks or some flip down ledge in the restrooms stalls. My backpack with all my crap is easily 30 pounds.

First timers get 10 free hours to try our Workshop Cafe. Then it’s $2/hour with no monthly commitment.

I think you must have a smartphone to take advantage of the awesomeness of the cafe (like checking in, reserving a seat, ordering a sandwich). I’m sure you could work in there without a smartphone. But if you don’t have a smartphone…well …. I don’t understand why you don’t have smartphone? How do you get anything done? Seriously. Do you call people? And talk? With your voice? Why would you do that? There’s no documentation. I need a record.


One last detail. The workers are lovely. They walk around and check if everyone is ok. It’s like having a waiter for four hours and they’re genuinely not angry with you.


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