Bay Area Favorite Philz Coffee Has New Home in Ice Blocks Project

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento is welcoming another Bay Area transplant.

"I love their coffee. Their Jacob's Wonderbar is wonderful," Karen Almquist said.

San Francisco's famous Philz Coffee is opening their first Sacramento area shop in the R Street Corridor.

"It's a great fit. The space is great. The environment is inspiring and uplifting and comfortable and welcome. And that's what Philz is all about," said Philz Coffee CEO Jacob Jaber.

It's the first retail shop to open in the newly transformed Ice Blocks project.

"If you were here a couple of year ago, it was horrible," said customer David Almquist.

He's talking about the three-alarm fire that destroyed the historic Crystal Ice Warehouse in November 2015.

"It was... it was a setback," said Mark Groen with Vrilakas Groen Architects.

So it was back to the drawing board.

Now, they're completing a mixed-use space, made up of 100,000-plus square feet of shops, offices and homes.

The designers here say they wanted to create the best of both worlds. On the south side, they have brand new apartments with that industrial feel. And on the north side, they've incorporated the brick wall from the original Ice Warehouse.

"It has a great feel and establishes some kind of presence and character that was here long ago, and being interpreted in a new way," Groen said.

With the opening of Philz Coffee, downtown-goers say they are ecstatic about the future of the Ice Blocks area.

"The R Street corridor is fantastic. We go to Burgers and Brew for lunch at least once a week. We go to Shady Lady after work for a drink," David Almquist said.

"It's a little bit safer to walk out here. It's great. A new place to go," Karen Almquist said.