Family brings Japanese cafe vibes to San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle | Oct. 2, 2019 The Akiko’s Restaurant team’s new cafe, Family, opened in North Beach last week, channeling the spirit of a kissaten, a traditional Japanese coffee shop.

For co-owner Jessica Furui — who founded the cafe with Ray Lee of Akiko’s in downtown San Francisco and her ex-husband, executive chef Tadayuki Furui — that means providing a unique experience in a tiny space adorned with precisely folded napkins, beautiful Japanese ceramics and fresh flowers.

“Part of the Japanese-inspired concept is deeply rooted in hospitality: doing things for others without the expectation of anything in return,” she said. “I want people to feel part of this family.”

The family theme appears in a few other places. Jessica measures the heights of children who visit on the entrance’s door frame. There’s a wall lined with old family photos from Jessica as well as from Tadayuki and Lee.

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