When I was in San Francisco last week, I took a lunch to walk over to North Beach to visit Thomas Cara Ltd, purveyors of extremely fine italian espresso machines. My La Pavoni (steam driven productivity engine), was bought refurbished from this shop.
Outside the shop
Christopher Cara, son of the original owner, runs the shop now. He was very generous with his time and patiently explained how to change the seals in my machine. He also remembered talking to me on the phone 3 years ago and the circumstances in which I got my Pavoni, (ah! YOU are the famous cat sitter).
Custom mosaic on the threshold, thats 517 pacific near columbus
He also told me undoubtedly well worn tales of the history of the shop and the provenance of the two big machines in the center of the store.
Big machines, argentinian copper and the original chrome giant pavoni that was brought back from italy circa WW2
I already was drooling over some of the newer "professional" models.
New machines lined up for sale
Christopher buys old machines and refurbishes them for resale. The wall in back are almost all Pavonis in various states of repair...
Repairs, refurbished and salvaged machines
Anyhow, if you have a hankering for an expensive but very worth it espresso machine, the shop is a great place to visit. 517 Pacific near Columbus in San Francisco, semi regular hours wed-friday, call before you visit (415) 781-0383.
Not a cat, Sage(?) the sleepy coffee spotted dog