After a majorly ambitious, six-year renovation project, the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware is ready to unveil perhaps its grandest showroom-restaurant combo to date in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, at Pier 70.
RH, as the company is now known, has in recent years debuted a pair of these lifestyle showcase concepts with attached restaurants in the Bay Area — basically high-end design and furniture showrooms with attached hospitality venues, like a very fancy IKEA. The first opened in a historic building in Yountville in 2018, and the second, much larger RH Marin debuted in Corte Madera in July 2020, with 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a rooftop restaurant.
The San Francisco version, with its Palm Court restaurant, officially opens today (May 12), in the historic Bethlehem Steel Building at the corner of Illinois and 20th streets, near Pier 70. The project to transform the crumbling, graffiti-covered 1917 building — which had once held offices of steel company executives, draftsmen, and naval architects near the company’s factory on the pier — began in 2016, after RH had already had its eye on the Palace of Fine Arts for a new location. As the Chronicle reports, that fell through because of the extensive retrofit work that would have been required, and CEO Gary Friedman says the team landed on the massive classical revival building near the Bay because they are “obsessed with great architecture.”
While it seems like much of the interior grandeur of the old steel offices had to be replaced or recreated, photos show a historic-looking foyer and the soaring new atrium restaurant that are befitting a luxury brand looking to stand out.
Like the spaces in Corte Madera and Yountville, furniture, textiles, and other design elements for sale are laid out in staged “galleries” — or “artistic installations of luxury home furnishings in a gallery setting” — including a 10,000-square-foot space on the building’s third floor.
As Friedman explains to the Chronicle, “Sometime our customers are in the galleries for days at a time so why not be hospitable? We blur the lines between residential and retail, to create spaces that are more home than store.”
But Friedman is just as concerned with the quality of the food as he is with the look and feel of the place — the Chronicle describes how he was very exacting in taste-testing some French toast which appears to not have made it onto the lunch/brunch menu (there’s a Belgian waffle on there instead).
“The Palm Court restaurant, a live-fire concept featuring a curated menu of enduring classics, recalls the distinctive glamour of San Francisco’s Gilded Age,” the RH website says. “The stunning statement space is sheathed in Italian Calacatta gold marble with a cascading center fountain, towering Medjool date palms and glimmering chandeliers. Adjacent to the restaurant, two luminous wine bars offer exceptional wines and Champagnes from around the world.”
The dinner menu is below, and just know that the lunch menu is only different because it has three brunch items and no caviar. Bellinis and Mimosas are $16, and glasses of wine start at $15.
Also, there is a lovely roof deck (they’re calling it a “rooftop park”) overlooking downtown, with fire pits, and presumably wine service. [Correction! There is no wine service on the roof.]
After holding an opening party back in March, things are only just ready for the public now.
The showrooms, restaurant, and wine bars are now open seven days per week, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Link: RH San Francisco