Insight Coffee Roasters cafe managers and supervisors participate in a blind test of six different coffees, or a “flavor calibration,” at Insight Coffee Roasters. Sacramento’s concentration of independent coffee shops reflects the city’s growing population of hipsters. Manny Crisostomo Sacramento Bee file
Insight Coffee Roasters cafe managers and supervisors participate in a blind test of six different coffees, or a “flavor calibration,” at Insight Coffee Roasters. Sacramento’s concentration of independent coffee shops reflects the city’s growing population of hipsters. Manny Crisostomo Sacramento Bee file

Editorials

Sacramento built it, now hipsters have come

By the Editorial Board

August 03, 2016 03:43 PM

Stodgy Sacramento, it seems our stock is rising.

After years of pooh-poohing a reputation for being a boring government town that’s only good for a bathroom break and a snack on the way to Tahoe, a new “study” has found that we’re actually a hotbed for hipsters. That’s right. California’s capital city now ranks fourth in the country for the young, cool and connected, trailing only Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Denver.

And San Francisco? That city came in a distant – and, we imagine, slightly embarrassing – ninth.

This is all according to Nebraska-based InfoGroup, a big data and marketing company that also swears Sacramento is “the new Oakland.”

To come up with the rankings, InfoGroup took a tally of thrift stores, independent coffee shops, bike shops, record stores, microbreweries, live music venues and tattoo parlors – places where hipsters gather. It didn’t actually count people with man buns and Herschel backpacks sipping craft beer.

Gloating aside, we know San Francisco residents, with their waterfront and world-class restaurants, could not care less about appearing high on a list cobbled together by an obscure online marketing company, from, of all places, Nebraska. But here in Sacramento, we should consider it a sign of progress that we’re even in the same league.

It wasn’t all that long ago that midtown was little more than a ghost town. Coffee shops were few and far between, as were restaurants worth obsessing over. Young people didn’t clog the streets with bikes on Friday and Saturday nights.

Today, there are local coffee shops, restaurants that specialize in farm-to-fork delicacies and a microbrewery scene that’s growing faster than many expected. And because Sacramento remains relatively cheap compared with its coastal brethren, there are still lots of record stores, comic book shops and thrift stores.

InfoGroup estimates that Sacramento has 2.58 of these hipster-related businesses per 10,000 residents. And Golden 1 Center, thought to be the catalyst for all of this economic activity, hasn’t even opened yet.

A lot has changed in 10 years, as Freestyle Clothing employee Alison Cullen told The Sacramento Bee’s Thomas Oide.

“My friends and I go around on our bikes from bar to bar, eating food or getting a couple drinks,” she said. “There’s just a lot of charm here.”

So move over San Francisco and Oakland. Sacramento is the place for hipsters.

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