San Francisco welcomed a series of gorgeous new restaurants this year, from splashy openings to smaller neighborhood spots. Trends, classics, and purely San Francisco style was at play throughout the city, from designers new and old. From a new-school sushi restaurant with gold dripping down the walls to a classically hip supper club in the Tenderloin, 2017 revealed some real stunners. Here’s a selection of some of the year’s best.
Designed by LA-based Kelly Wearstler, Villon brought some eclectic cool to mid-Market as part of the Proper Hotel. Custom elements, cool blue walls, and a dash of LA make it an airy, interesting scene for lunch or dinner. Upstairs, rooftop bar and lounge Charmaine’s is equally as stunning, with the addition of black-and-white outdoor chaises, firepits, and views down Market Street. It also won both editor’s choice and people’s choice for Most Gorgeous Restaurant Design of the Year in the 2017 Eater Awards.
The 1,250 square foot restaurant is the dynamic reflection of chef Adam Tortosa’s vision for the place. It’s also a curated look at the work of local artisans, from the walls to the plates and chopsticks. The walls are painted a dark gray and adorned with gold resin drips from the ceiling, executed by decorative artist Caroline Lizagarra. Lizagarra poured the drips by hand, letting the rose gold pool below on the cement floor, where Lizagarra filled cracks with metallic resin, an homage to the Japanese technique of kintsugi. Art from local artist Ferris Plock, a custom wooden bar, and a very, very cool bathroom make it one of the best designs of the year.
The crown jewel of restaurateur George Chen’s China Live emporium, Eight Tables is a sleek, neutral-toned environment filled with luxe touches. Designed by AvroKo (also behind Single Thread), custom banquettes, brass lighting fixtures, and lazy Susan tables adorn the minimalist space that is meant to evoke the feeling of being in someone’s home. Photos of Chen’s family adorn the walls of the foyer, where guests wait to be seated at one of literally eight tables. The food is equally as stunning: Eater SF critic Rachel Levin gave it three stars.
The buzzy new restaurant from Bacchus Management Group (Spruce, Village Pub) brought some new-school charm to an aging classic building in the Tenderloin. It was built in 1907, then lived as a hotel and SRO before a lengthy renovation, revealing original Carnegie steel beams, and exposed brick. In the center of the room, a dramatic multi-tiered steel and glass chandelier dangles down into the stairwell leading to the downstairs dining room. The interior was designed by Stephen Brady; the chandelier was designed by Coup D’Etat and Magnus Schevene (an artist and designer who also contributed railings and other metal details).
Inspired by the flea markets of Paris, the interior of Petit Marlowe is filled with vintage treasures that were shipped across the pond. Designer Ken Fulk collaborated with Big Night Restaurant Group creative director Jake Mogelson and founder Anna Weinberg to source bistro chairs, vintage utensils as decor, and the antique bookcase, all shipped from France.