Thursday, September 13, 2012

Move Over Hyatt, Hilton Launches its San Francisco Street Food Presence Today

"The Coffee Shack" at The Hilton Financial District Hotel

Lately I've been noticing the installation of a garish prefab "Coffee Shack" on the corner of the parking area in front of the Hilton Financial District hotel at Kearny and Washington Streets in San Francisco. My first reaction was that it was probably from someone who was leasing space to sell snacks to to student at SF City College's new high-rise campus across the street. The mystery took a bizarre twist with the appearance on the site of a "Hi-Striker,"  that carnival gizmo which lets you test your strength by swinging a hammer hard enough to ring a bell.  At this point, my curiosity was piqued enough to send out Inspector Google, who brought back this report from The Barbary Coast News.

According the the article (which appears to be straight from a Hilton Hotel PR release), "The Coffee Shack" is the creation of none other than the Hilton itself.
The "Hi-Striker"
The Hilton San Francisco Financial District is pleased to announce the opening of The Coffee Shack. Parked permanently in Hilton San Francisco Financial District’s front drive and one block away from the Pyramid, The Coffee Shack features much more than coffee. Patrons can start their day with coffee for a buck. Food selections feature a savory breakfast burrito and a build-your-own bratwurst or hot dog for lunch.

In addition, the Shack will offer salads and sandwich wraps, and a "house-made spiced pork" served in a rice bowl or on a corn tortilla. The menu and prices, the mighty Hilton assures us, are "designed with tasty enjoyment and frugality in mind." Nothing on this "great menu" will cost more than $6.

As for the Hi-Striker, that's part of today's (September 13) Grand Opening, which will also feature a DJ and a free small coffee.

The "Little Green Cyclo" at the Hyatt
In recent weeks, the Grand Hyatt on Union Square has been featuring street food by periodically hosting one or two food trucks curated by Off the Grid on its plaza area on Stockton Street and religiously tweeting about them; in that light, The Hilton's move seems logical. Has street food become a de rigeur part of the San Francisco experience that hotels must offer? 

 Your move, Holiday Inn.