Finjan Coffee Co. soft opens in Kearny Mesa

Mahmoud "Moody" Barkawi, left, and Osama Shabaik at Tahini Street Food
Mahmoud “Moody” Barkawi, left, and Osama Shabaik inside the new location of Tahini Street Food in Kearny Mesa.
(Steven Pye)

Tahini Street Food co-founders and longtime San Diego buddies Mahmoud “Moody” Barkawi and Osama Shabaik soft-opened their second hospitality concept, Finjan Coffee Co., in Kearny Mesa earlier this month.

When it’s fully open in January, Finjan will serve Turkish and Arabic coffees as well as Middle Eastern pastries. The partners had planned to open Finjan last year but equipment shipping delays led them to decide to go ahead and open the quick-service location this month with a limited product menu.

For now, Finjan is serving Italian-style espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and cold brews featuring beans roasted by James Coffee Co. in San Diego. The shop also sells iced and hot teas. The current food menu features avocado, labneh and monkey (peanut butter and banana) toasts as well as yogurt parfaits. In January, pastries such as knafeh, a Middle Eastern phyllo and cheese pastry, and baklava.

Early next year, Barkawi and Shabaik are expecting the arrival of the shop’s custom-made sand coffee-brewing machines, which are used to make Turkish coffee. Filigreed copper pots filled with ground dark-roast coffee and water are hand-brewed to boiling in pits of fire-hot sand. Customers will be able to watch the shop’s baristas making the coffees in the ancient swirling technique. Finjan is the Arabic word for coffee cup.

Shabaik said coffee holds an important place in Arab culture. It’s often the centerpiece of business and family negotiations and drinking coffee together seals the deal like a handshake. A wall mural in the shop has a proverb written in Arabic that says the first cup of coffee goes to the maker (to ensure it’s well made), the second cup goes to the guest, the third is for pleasure and the fourth is for the sword, meaning once the coffee is consumed an unbreakable bond of loyalty has been forged.

Finjan, now open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, is next door to the Tahini Street Food’s flagship store, which specializes in Middle Eatern shawarma, bowls and falefel. Finjan is at 911 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego. Visit