The tile shines while orange chairs are scattered around the alley to allow pedestrians to sit wherever they want. The sun reaches the corners of the alley which eliminates that all too familiar feeling of a creepy alley. Restaurants line the alley on one side while a historic Mint establishes the other boundary of the plaza. Now that the plaza is a few years old, the creeper vines on the lattices have grown in and has softened the feel of the plaza. The plaza is maturing well.
There are two notable business here. Chez Papa serves fantastic food. I've been about 4-5 times. I am not big on the decor but have loved the food every time. The other attraction is Blue Bottle Coffee. A boutique coffee roaster that has achieved cult status in San Francisco.
I have never heard anything about the financial success of the plaza so I cannot judge it to be a financial success. I did observe that Thermidor has recently closed its doors. Nonetheless, this is a wonder place in the city and deserves a visit the next time that you are nearby.
Links on Mint Plaza
Mint Plaza: SoMA success or BFD?
Builder bets newly minted plaza in San Francisco will be an oasis