In the non-stop world we live in today, the modern city dweller needs to be able to consolidate various tasks into certain windows of time. Multi-tasking allows us to be more efficient and ultimately have more time to ourselves, and this ethos is quickly manifesting itself in many different ways around the world. One of the most forward-thinking cities is San Francisco, California, which mainly owes its innovative atmosphere to the huge tech boom that has seen the formerly avant-garde peninsula transformed into a hotbed of commercial activity and rising rent prices. As such, an opportunity to kill a few birds with one stone is always welcome in the City by the Bay. Enter Laundré, a laundromat/coffee shop that allows you to take a load off in style while you’re waiting for your clothes to be washed.
Laundré hopes “to elevate the standard with which the laundromat is viewed by establishing an open and inviting space featuring sustainable laundry equipment, a full-scale coffee bar, and communal seating. Laundré aims to make laundry less of a chore while providing a space that welcomes creativity, work, and people.” Located in San Francisco’s hip Mission District, this new slick laundromat and café is the brainchild of fashion kid-turned-entrepreneur Ariana Roviello, who — after eight years of living in San Fransisco — wanted to reinvent the laundry experience, which many people have come to think of as dangerous, dirty, and just plain unpleasant.
The space itself is minimal and stylish and does away with the conception that the laundromat is only a place for “down-and-outs”: a place full of broken machines and plagued by the threat of someone stealing unattended clothes. The stripped-back café area occupies the front of the laundromat and boasts a central bar from where you can order coffee before taking a seat at one of the high counters that look out onto the street — the perfect place to catch up on some work or meet a friend while waiting for your load to be done.
The laundry facilities are toward the back of the space, and through the use of energy-efficient machines that use minimal amounts of water, you can have a full wash done and dry in just 45 minutes, much less time than you would expect to wait at a standard laundromat. The washing machines are also equipped with smart technology, and they’ll message you to alert you when your load has been completed. As if all that weren’t enough, Laundré also gives its customers free detergent, and its machines can be paid for using coins or credit card, with a standard load costing around $4.50. The space also benefits from the presence of staff, both in the café and in the laundromat, who help customers use the machines and monitor the area to ensure that everyone’s clothes are still there when they return.
Laundré may not be the first time the concept of the laundromat has been reimagined, but it is certainly one of the best examples of how to merge its traditional aspects with the contemporary needs of people living in fast-paced cities. The company’s mission is as follows: “With a new breed of laundromat comes a modern approach to space. Separating ourselves from the outdated launderette, we aspire to produce an environment that is spacious, bright, and bubbly. Lofted ceilings and a thoughtfully curated interior create an open feel among the whirling machines.” Laundré is open from 8 AM to 10 PM each and every day.