It's Tops Coffee Shop had its humble beginnings way back in 1935 as the place where locals and travelers gathered to eat hot breakfasts, burgers and grilled sandwiches cooked up fast by the minute man on the old 1932 Wolf Griddle and Stove. Back then, the eatery just went by the name " The Top Cafe" or " The Minute Man's." The griddle was then known to make the best hot cakes and burgers you have ever tasted.
After about a decade of serving up hot meals from just one small room, the diner took over the driving school next door, moved the kitchen into the back, added a full ice cream fountain and hoisted up the neon sign " It's Tops Coffee Shop " becoming a real full service restaurant. It's Tops perfected the Cheeseburger before McDonald's even existed! And poured hot coffee before Cafe Trieste in North Beach opened their doors.
It's Tops Coffee Shop came into the family in 1952 when our father, Richard Chapman, returned from the Korean War, where he had served his country and fellow servicemen as a military cook on a ship. Dad, known to his friends and customers as "Dick", added vinyl booths and table-top jukeboxes loaded with hits from the day. He created a welcoming atmosphere with a great attitude and an amazing sense of humor. He greeted each customer with a smile, treated many to his jokes, and rarely told the same one twice.
It's Tops Coffee Shop has seen a lot of changes in the past 80 years. Our father saw the central freeway being built, feeding the working men. And we have seen it come down, feeding the working men and women. Our brother and sister team purchased the business from our father in 1986 and we've made some changes by adding late night hours, an espresso bar, and soju cocktails bar. But, in our dad's honor, we've kept most things kind of the same. We use quality ingredients, provide our best service in a warm and friendly environment, and work hard to give you the best of It's Tops (although neither of us tell a joke the way dad did!). Anyway, eat, drink, and have fun at It's Tops Coffee Shop! We and our staff thank you for your patronage. Truly, rock on...Sheila and Bruce.
It's Tops Coffee Shop