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Best of the Bay: Style + Design
Laura Murrow & Gretchen Shchrafft | June 26, 2012
With a gift for turning decrepit in- dustrial buildings into bright, airy hotspots, architecture firm Boor Bridges is known for the big reveal. Last June, it gutted an abandoned sign-manufacturing shop to uncover Sightglass coffee bar’s spacious mezzanine; seven months later, it turned an old machinery warehouse into Southern Pacific Brewing’s sun-flooded gastropub (above). Next up: McCoppin hub’s ongoing revival: The firm is transforming a dead-end lot into a bustling food truck plaza (right). 1686 15th St., 415-241-7160, boorbridges.com —G.S.
It may be hard to recall, given the blousy, sad-sack sweatshirts of today, but there was a time when that weekend staple had sex appeal. Think Steve McQueen circa The Great Escape. Luckily, former Chrome bags president Bayard Winthrop launched the American Giant label with the singular goal of returning the once-iconic pullover to its former glory. That means thoughtful details like underarm paneling, thick-ribbed cuffs, and heavy (12.4-ounce) cotton, plus a slimmer fit. 3171 21St St., 888-707-0964, american-giant.com —Lauren Murrow
When Aldea Home owner Johanna Bialkin quadru- pled her floor space in October, she teamed up with Labexperiment interior designer Leslie Bamburg to give apartment-dwelling San Franciscans what they naturally crave: streamlined furniture that still has character, like cushy, brightly patterned storage ottomans and beds with reclaimed-wood drawers beneath. you don’t have to be loaded to fulfill your decorative vision here; any piece can be upholstered in a range of dwell Studio fabrics, from affordable, kid-friendly poly-cotton blends to high-grade wool. 890 Valencia St., 415-865-9807, aldeahome.com —L.M.
After nine years, Sam Hamilton reincarnated her Laurel Heights antique store, March, with a focus on kitchen gear that’s timeless, not trendy: dishes from nicola Fasano and Brickett davda, gleaming cast-iron cookware, and hand-forged steel knives. This September, the spot will launch “slow food” cooking classes around the store’s retro-chic aga stove. 3075 Sacramento St.,415-931-7433, marchsf.com —L.M.
After styling San Francisco in one way or another for a decade, interior designer Jay Jeffers and his husband, fashion consultant Michael Purdy, are finally collaborating professionally for the first time. This May, they opened the pricey, sumptuously styled furnishings store Cavalier, the exclusive source for Jeffers’s debut collection of Californiamade furniture and lighting, artfully displayed among Merida rugs, Catherine Wagner photography, alex & Lee jewelry, and affordable finds from the couple’s travels, like Bellocq tea. 1035 poSt St., 415-440-7300, cavaliergoods.com —J.F.
Mobile app karma had the distinction of being Facebook’s first major post-Instagram purchase, but Wantful is the best no-wrap present option since the advent of the gift card. Fill out 10 multiple-choice questions about your recipient, from dream home to feelings about messiness, pick your price range, and he or she will be sent (via email or snail mail) a 16-item catalog from the site’s stock of more than 1,000 potential presents. your giftee simply chooses something, enters the online redemption code, and receives the “handpicked” gift within a week. wantful.com —Sara Johnson
Polaroid may have enjoyed a recent comeback among hipster antiquarians, but at Photobooth, in the Mission, the analog craze goes back even further—to tintype portraits, black-and-white photos printed on 4-by-5-inch metal plates (for $60 each). Photographers Michael Shindler and Vince Donovan revived the Civil War–era art form, transforming a former Chinese medicinal clinic an artful storefront that melds a gallery, a photo studio, and a vintage camera shop. 1193 Valencia St., 415-824-1248, photoboothsf.com —T.W.
Hotel Chain with Soul
The W Hotel tapped local architect Stanley Saitowitz to give its first two floors a city-specific makeover, and the stunning results are as follows: Pixilated window patterns that outline iconic architecture and refract light to create a foglike haze; multilevel furniture that rises from the floor like buildings; and patterned rugs and cartography-inspired art that mimic the hilly S.F. street grid. Bucking garish hotel-lounge stereotypes, the moodily lit bar makes a dreamy, surreal spot for a cocktail. 181 3rd St., 415-777-5300, whotels.com/sanfrancisco —J.F.
Best In Theory
Work sweats Expect to see many happy men at the opera this fall, relaxing comfortably in Betabrand’s Dress Pant Sweatpants: charcoal gray loungewear that looks just enough like big-boy slacks to avoid being targeted by the fashion police. (OK, maybe not the opera—more like happy hour at the neighborhood wine bar.) Bonus points for rocking these at the offi ce with one of Betabrand’s “executive” pinstripe hoodies, completing the Zuckerberg man-child ensemble. Alternatively, you could always dress like, you know, an adult. betabrand.com —Ben Christopher
READERS' POLL: THE CLASSICS
Fashion Blog - Mode Bay Area
Fashion Boutique - Ambiance
Department Store - Nordstrom
Menswear - Wilkes Bashford
Home Design Shop - Bo Concept
Kitchen Store - Williams Sonoma
Kids’ Store - Dottie Doolittle
Kids’ Play Space - Crissy Field
Salon - Di Pietro Todd
Mani-pedi - Silk