Mister Jiu’s opens tiny Chinatown cafe with pastries and souvenirs

Chinatown favorite Mister Jiu’s team is opening a new kind of souvenir shop in San Francisco: one that sells bobs, Chinese pastries, premium coffee, and natural wine.

The Soon and Soon Souvenir Shop will open on December 18 as a casual counter service point at the entrance to Mister Jiu’s Grant Avenue. Inside, baristas will brew espresso mixed with homemade condensed milk to pair with baked goods from the Grand Opening pop-up, led by Mister Jiu’s former pastry chef, Melissa Chou. The store will still serve Chou’s Cocktail Bun (an oblong, filled sweet bun), bolo bao (also known as pineapple bun), and at least one cake per slice, as well as five or six rotating pastries.

The café menu is inspired by Hong Kong café culture, with drinks like yuanyang, a blend of coffee and black tea, and an iced version made with milk tea jelly. The store will use custom coffee made by Equator Coffees of San Francisco, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Cut Fruit Collective, which raises funds for Asian-American businesses and communities affected by the pandemic. Drinks like lattes and cappuccinos will also be offered, along with homemade nut milks.

Natural wine, beer and bottled cocktails will be on sale, selected by Mister Jiu’s wine director, Rachel Fernandez. Drinks include a pet cabernet franc from Argentina, numbing mala spice infused mezcal, and a hazy IPA from Temescal Brewing in Oakland.

The Soon and Soon souvenir shop will serve baked goods from Mister Jiu’s former Melissa Chou pastry shop. Above, from left to right: bolo bao (pineapple buns), woman’s cookies and cocktail buns.

Yalonda M. James / The Chronicle

The commercial portion will feature Chinatown merchandise designed by husband-wife owners Brandon Jew and Anna Lee. Think a $ 130 black hoodie featuring a glow-in-the-dark dragon and some brightly colored tote bags for $ 15. Soon and Soon will also sell local products that appeal to homeowners, such as camera straps from retailer Mission District Dsptch.

Part of the inspiration for Soon and Soon (named after the Jewish grandfather’s laundry business) was to help reinvigorate tourism in Chinatown, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. The duo hope to attract visitors and locals alike for souvenirs made in San Francisco.

The Soon and Soon Souvenir Shop will sell water bottles, hats and other merchandise designed by husband-wife owners Brandon Jew and Anna Lee.

The Soon and Soon Souvenir Shop will sell water bottles, hats and other merchandise designed by husband-wife owners Brandon Jew and Anna Lee.

Courtesy of Brandon Juif /

Jew and Lee also started a design company, Soon and Soon Studio, together – they brought the neon vibes to the Oakland Viridian Cocktail Bar and Chinatown’s Lion’s Den nightclub – and wanted a physical space. to meet clients.

Overall, Soon and Soon is a light-hearted passion project focused on things that brought joy to owners during the isolation of the coronavirus shutdown, from swag design to freshly baked pastries.

“We’re just trying to have fun with it,” Jew said.

It will initially only open on Saturday and then run from Wednesday to Saturday from January 19.

Soon and Soon Souvenir Shop. Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 731 Grant Ave., San Francisco. soonandsoonsouvenirshop.com.

Elena Kadvany is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ekadvany