In a place where hot new restaurants and bars are, let's be real, a dime a dozen, design-savvy entrepreneurs are looking to art to help distinguish their brands from the pack.
But we aren't talking about nice little painting in frames. Nope, murals, and even graffiti, are making big statements inside the buzziest restaurants of San Francisco and Oakland. From feminine florals to testosterone-driven hunting scenes to playful street art–inspired works, check out 10 local eateries winning at the art game.
At True Laurel, new restaurant from Lazy Bear chef David Barzelay and bar director Nicolas Torres, the fine food and craft cocktails feel all the more more important as you gaze up at the imposing, modernist plaster mural inspired by a playground design of Japanese artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. Designed and created by the restaurant's interior designer, Nicholas Roberto (whose clients also include Trick Dog, Causwells, and Huxley), the piece is deliberately abstract "to allow people to give to it their own interpretation," Roberto says. "Everybody is going to see something different." // True Laurel, 753 Alabama St. (Mission), truelaurelsf.com