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Stable Cafe

Isn’t the exterior of this cafe awesome? I love the black and white scheme on an old building, the font, and the huge doors that open to reveal a peak inside at that copper bar front and staircase.

I came across a pic of the outside and immediately googled the name to see if I could find pics of the interior, and I discovered it’s right here in San Francisco! In the Mission, no surprise. The story of the cafe is pretty neat too. Dwell already told the story magnificently, so I’ll just bring it to you in their words!

“San Francisco’s Mission District is known for its vibrant and often contrasting cultures—Mexican paleta wagons share the sidewalk with Twittering hipsters slinging crème brulée, produce markets sell tropical fruit and dried chiles beneath gilted Victorians, and murals line otherwise neglected alleyways. But it was far from all of this Mission buzz where architect Malcolm Davis and his partner, chef Thomas Brian Lackey, decided to turn a run-down building into a high-design home for their shared passions. On a retail-free stretch of Folsom Street, Stable Cafe has become a new anchor for the community.

The concept Davis and Lackey began with was loosely based on one Davis had once seen while traveling in England. “Sir Richard Rogers and his wife Ruth have the River Cafe in London,” Davis explains, “We thought it was such a neat idea that the architect was working next to his partner, the chef, who was growing vegetables right there between the two businesses. Stable is a little humble version of that—they have the Thames and we have Mission Creek!”

When Davis and Lackey found the 19th century carriage house that would become Stable, it was in dismal shape—graffitied on the exterior and falling apart inside. But the pair immediately saw the potential of the soaring ceilings and an adjacent vacant lot. “There was a great opportunity for daylight in the kitchen,” says Davis, “Most kitchens have low ceilings and get really hot; they’re more like a factory.”

A factory it is not, but the kitchen at Stable does much more than feed the cafe’s customers. The expansive, sunlit heart of the building is an incubator for a number of small food-related businesses that use Stable as their commissary. Zoning required that the cafe comply with industrial preservation codes, meaning it had to operate production, distribution or repair on the site. Davis and Lackey viewed this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. “Thomas Brian had been very interested in opening a commissary kitchen,” Davis recalls, “He liked the interaction and creativity that comes out of a group of people running different food businesses in a shared space. It makes for a lively, kinetic kitchen experience.” Today nearly a dozen culinary entrepreneurs make up the Stable Collective, producing everything from empanadas to dog treats and selling them in the cafe and elsewhere around the city.

While the kitchen plays a central role, Stable has plenty of other programs in play. In the front of house, an inviting cafe serves locally-roasted coffee, breakfast and lunch all day, as well as tapas and drinks in the evening. At the rear of the building, sliding doors open onto a private event space that can be used for dinners or gallery exhibitions. Running along the length of the side wall, the vacant lot has been turned into a landscaped courtyard. And upstairs, an office suite houses Malcolm Davis Architecture.

It’s been just one year since Stable first opened in their tucked away location, but in that time they’ve managed to bring the Mission buzz to them. With community support as a central tenet of their operations, they’ve organically grown a network of neighbors and friends who regard the cafe not just as a place to eat and drink, but as a venue that welcomes and embraces their ideas and invites collaboration for special events.”

The Lion

This is by no means new news, as it opened almost a year ago, but I still love the design of The Lion in New York and had to share. Owned by John de Lucie of the Waverley Inn and Mark Amadei of Delicatessen, The Lion was born for success.

Meg Sharpe, a former employee of Kelly Wearstler, designed the English hunting estate-meets-Paris salon-meets-Gentleman’s Club interiors, which are finished off with works including a Basquiat (“on loan from a friend”), a David LaChapelle portrait of Andy Warhol, prints of old “New York’s Most Wanted” photos, and antique oil portraits.

 

I also love this story about The Lion, via New York Social Diary:

“The space in its previous incarnation was a restaurant called Village. In the early 1960s it was a gay bar called … The Lion. It had a cabaret show in those days, and once the club’s hatcheck girl won the amateur night contest. The prize was a two week booking at … The Lion. That little girl was called Barbra Streisand.”

 

When in LA: The Eveleigh

I’ve never even been to the new restaurant The Eveleigh in LA, but I’m posting it anyway solely based on the design and the logo.

Depending on the weather, or more likely, your mood (because let’s not kid ourselves, it’s really rarely cold enough to need to be inside in LA), you can choose from an open air dining area with rustic wood floors, striped button-tufted banquettes, and a canvas tented top and sides, or a homey inside room with a brick fireplace, leather arm chairs, and wood beam ceilings.

Both options are alluring, and the food is described as “21st century LA comfort food.” Hilarious in it’s meaninglessness, and yet nonetheless appealing.

Tavern

Looks like a nice place to spend an afternoon with friends and family, no?

By the same team as Lucques, AOC, and Hungry Cat.

Recommendation and photos from Oh Joy Eats.

Where to Have a Martini in London

The Connaught Hotel in London, part of the Maybourne Group, has revamped their bar with the help of interior designer David Collins. In fact, the Maybourne Group hired a slew of designers to refresh their three iconic London hotels with new suites, rooms, and restaurants. In addition to getting design buzz, the investment is apparently paying off, as they are still achieving occupancy over 80%.

I’m not actually crazy for the re-designs of the other spaces, but this bar is awesome. Interestingly, notice how little the furniture has to do with the overall success of the room. I mean it matters of course, but as is usually the case with restaurants and bars, it’s the scale, finishes, and lighting that set the tone…

The mirror behind the bar, the gold back-plate on the sconces, the panelling, the black reflective finish in the pass-throughs between the rooms. The black reflective finish (plastic?) also adds a little modern edge, which is nice.

Even with the furniture, what matters most here is not the style of the furniture, but rather the color and texture– here, black leather and more black leather, even on the table tops (cool, also like the nailheads on the table edge, incidentally). The density of black furniture also helps to ground the room, which is important given its super high ceilings. And speaking of scale, imagine how differently the room would feel if the ceilings were two-thirds the height…

Also interesting is the repeated use of rounded edges — on the “windows” and doorway, echoed in the mirror through the doorway, even the chairs and tables are rounded and don’t have corners. I think it helps soften what could be a rather austere or formal space.

via wandermelon travel website

And for a totally random aside, these guys would look sharp in there, wouldn’t they?


Models backstage before the Zegna show at Milan A/W.

I think this photo is really cool visually – the way you immediately notice their hands because they are all dressed almost identically and evenly spaced across the frame. It actually looks more like a contemporary art photo to me than just a snapshot backstage– it seems so tense and like it’s begging for some kind of interpretation about why these guys are together and dressed alike (if you imagine they aren’t at a fashion show).

from Wallpaper’s photos of Milan A/W 2010.

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