If only study hall, or however it manifested at your school, could be like The Social Study, slick and, well, sociable. But even Ryan Murphy and Joss Whedon couldn’t have come up with something that resembles this cafe and wine bar hybrid in the Fillmore District. (Well, perhaps sans the wine bit, seeing as how their shows centered on underage folks –played by middle-aged folks – and all.)
The Social Study is somewhat hidden on Geary, on a part of the thoroughfare that splits into four. Its exterior also doesn’t quite capture what you’d experience once inside. It’s the kind of cafe that regulars love, visitors fall in love with at first sight and digital nomads dream about. And it’s all due to the just-right blend of energy that makes it such a fun place to set up for work or a round of Cards Against Humanity.
A part of this is due to the aesthetic, which reads more lounge than cafe or wine bar. There’s a pretty unique wall-to-wall turquoise leather fold-up multi seat piece that’s separated by small oak tabletops that jut out every 4-5 feet. You have to see it (photo below) to get it. The music is the ambient element that ties everything together. It looks like there’s a semi-serious DJ setup at the loft above. Even with no one actually on the ones and twos, it’s a look just legit enough to back up the jams you hear, which ranges from C.L.Smooth to The Beatles.
Coffee is not its strong suit if you prefer a roast on the light to medium side, and perhaps the food isn’t going to make your list of favorites in San Francisco. But there’s a good wine list followed by a few good regional beer on tap and an expanded bottled craft beer. At which point, the snacks are more than creative options to pair with your brew.
The music only gets louder as the day turns to dusk. Somehow, this only helps you hunker further in work, or enjoy your wine, cheese and gossip with your friends more. So you’ll end up going back again and again, just to tap into the energy.
Word to the wise, avoid a hot latte or cappucinno with almond milk. On three separate occasions, the almond milk broke down into pieces in our latte or cappucinno.
Ambiance: Somewhere between chill and upbeat, depending almost entirely on music.
Amenities: Password-protected WiFi. Some outlets, mostly at the bar. A restroom with a floor-length mirror.
Drink/Food: Coffee, wine, tea, beer, and cocktails. What’s known as study snacks, including cookies baked to order. Cuban and BLT sandwich sliders. Vegetarians can snack fairly well here with potato bruschetta and a veggie sandwich comprising ingredients like house made cranberry sauce, walnut cream cheese, spinach, and avocado on 21-grain bread. There’s a good happy hour deal on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays whereupon you get a substantial snack like sliders with a draft for about $7. There are regular happy hours specials too.