San Francisco might not be a global fashion epicenter just yet, but it certainly has plenty of stylish women eager to spend big bucks on their wardrobes. California native Emily Holt, a former editor at Vogue and Women's Wear Daily, is looking to tap into the Bay Area's spending power and change the narrative around its fashion scene with her new clothing and lifestyle boutique, Hero Shop on Post Street. For her first-ever retail effort, she's enlisted an intriguing roster of designer names, including New York-based labels like Adam Lippes, Suno, Sophie Buhai, and Live The Process, as well as local labels like Stevie Howell, Future Glory, Nu Swim, and MMClay. The store is part of a growing neighborhood that was once an area people tended to avoid. Now with shops like Holt's, it's becoming a destination. Here, Holt, in her own words, shares her favorite spots in the neighborhood to eat, shop, and stay:
Recently we borrowed a bright red Martone Cycling Co. bike from interior designer Jay Jeffers’s shop down the street. They also sell moody, romantic objets and modern lighting, and sometimes Jay and his partner Michael host dinner parties there. It’s really special. I love being near The Thing Quarterly, an art collective that partners with creators like Rodarte, Miranda July and John Baldessari to make left-of-center, well, things like experimental albums and colorful gingham soccer balls. And M.A.C., not technically the Tenderloin but a 15-minute walk from Hero Shop, is where I go to fulfill my Dries Van Noten addiction. Ben and Chris, the brother and sister owners, are incredibly kind and have such a terrific, artistic circle of friends like John Waters.
The food at the new eatery Black Cat is terrific—the chef is a Chez Panisse alum—but their cool, jazz venue downstairs is what makes this place stand out. A few blocks up, the 94-year-old Curran theater will reopen in January after getting a facelift. First show up is Fun Home which I was lucky enough to see on Broadway and can’t wait see again when it comes to town. And the Tenderloin Museum, which opened last year, is a great place to learn about the neighborhood’s rich history as a hub for the city’s jazz, urban art and LGBTQ activist scenes.
Aesthetician Kristina Holey, a fellow transplant from New York and before that Paris, is the city’s most in-demand skincare expert. I’m almost hesitant to recommend her for a facial since she has a months-long waiting list—and no, I don’t know how to jump the line. All the guys I know rave about the haircuts and shaves—not to mention the leather couches and big screen TVs— at Barber Walter’s Joint.
To get to Louie’s Gen-Gen Room you have to go through Liholiho Yacht Club and downstairs to a low-ceiling space that still manages to have an island vibe. Tropical-themed cocktails help—plus their snack menu is comprised almost entirely of waffles offered with savory and sweet toppings. For a more authentic neighborhood feel, the Nite Cap and The Owl Tree are local institutions.
We’re all at Jane several times a day for coffee or lunch. It’s the new Tenderloin’s version of Cheers, except with kale salad, avocado toast and matcha instead of beer and bar nuts. For dinner we like Elephant Sushi, a super tiny spot with bar seats only and the most delicious rolls and bowls. They don’t take reservations but the wait is usually just long enough for a drink at Rx next door. On the weekends, customers wander in snacking on one of two things: cruffins (croissant + muffin) or other over-the-top pastries from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse or milkshakes from The Shakedown. It’s all we can do to chain ourselves to the store and not make runs there ourselves.
Jessica Silverman was a pioneer of the new generation moving to the neighborhood when she opened her contemporary art gallery here in 2013, bringing tech clients and established San Francisco collectors with her. I love walking there for openings after work.
The décor at the Hotel Zeppelin, which opened in spring, is super referential to the city’s psychedelic roots—think giant peace signs—but the customer service and food culled from nearby vendors, including Jane, exceed modern day expectations.
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