If you’ve been to the Blue Bottle Cafe lately, you’ve probably noticed the sizable public sculpture, emblazoned with a beet, on the sidewalk just outside the front door. Is it a new take on 2004’s Hearts in San Francisco public sculpture project — itself inspired by 1999’s Chicago Cows on Parade exhibit?

No, it’s much more crass and commercial. But it makes for a nice conversation piece.

Google Maps advertising itself on the doorstep of the Blue Bottle Cafe You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant, though she comes here for coffee

The sculpture is part of a Google Maps promotional campaign, and it marks the Blue Bottle Cafe as one of Alice Waters’ favorite places. In addition to Ms. Waters, who defined the farm-fresh & local style of restaurant dining that has dominated the Bay Area for decades (through Berkeley’s Chez Panisse and other establishments), there are sculptures around town marking off the favorite haunts of culinary stars such as Michael Minna and Gary Danko.

UPDATE: July 19, 2009
Just hours after posting this, the SF Chronicle published a bio piece on professional clarinetist and Blue Bottle Coffee owner/founder, James Freeman: Coffee obsession becomes business. The article also mentions their expansion, which includes, “a 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Oakland’s Jack London Square that will house the office, two vintage coffee roasters, a barista training room, commercial kitchen and coffee bar”.

James obviously has many fans, as the article received dozens of user comments.