San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood is having a moment. Seven years ago, when Jay Jeffers was looking for a new spot for his design studio, the neighborhood was most definitely not the draw – he fell in love with a building, and the somewhat sketchy surroundings paled in comparison to the perfection of the beautifully lit industrial space that would become Cavalier by Jay Jeffers. If you build it, they will come…and seven years later the transition of the neighborhood is remarkable, with Cavalier anchoring a destination-worthy community, filled with galleries, cafes and boutiques. We asked Jay and his partner Michael Purdy for their treasured Tenderloin discoveries.
We love Thomas at Jane Bakery serving up the finest Stumptown coffee. For a cool pick me up on a hot day try their Stumptown Chocolate Cold Brewed blend, or perhaps one of their seasonal twice-baked croissants like pumpkin or baklava.
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
It’s been around for a while, but Rye is still my favorite little spot in the ‘Loin to grab a cocktail after work. Whether you like something traditional or
something re-invented, this is your spot. They have about 25 different types of bitters to put a twist on that Manhattan.
Date night destination?
The recently opened Huxley on Geary Street is just around the corner and is sure to be a major hit. Try the pan roasted whole trout or the avocado toasts with uni…but plan ahead, as the space is super small and gaining momentum fast.
Favorite find in the neighborhood?
D. Zelen is a great little retail shop just around the corner on Sutter Street that has an awesome focus on vintage objet and garden elements. We love shopping for little treasures to give as gifts, and the owner has a great eye and fantastic sense of humor. You must hit this shop when you venture down to the Tenderloin.
Outdoor space to enjoy in the sun?
There are not a lot of great green spaces in the Tenderloin, but on a gorgeous San Francisco day people flock to Jones, next to the Addagio Hotel where you can gather on their huge landscaped terrace for drinks, great music and perhaps even catch some rays.
Best kept neighborhood secret?
Hooker’s Sweet Treats on Hyde has to be our best kept secret. They serve Sight Glass coffee which is great, but the real draw is the amazing assorted boxes of homemade caramels they serve up. We love to bring them as host gifts at dinner parties or send them to our best clients. With hysterical flavor names like “The 3rd Nut” and “The Town S’more” they provide the perfect sense of humor backed up by pure sweet perfection. My favorite thank you note I ever received from a client said “My husband and I want to thank you for sending Hooker’s to our house, it was a pleasant surprise.” I almost fell off my chair laughing.