It might suffice to tell you that a new rooftop bar has opened in San Francisco and you would guess that the spot is worth your time. But that's not even half the story.
Charmaine's, the posh lounge with panoramic vistas from atop Mid-Market's recently opened Kelly Wearstler–designed Proper Hotel, could probably get away with resting on its fire pits, city views and celebrity style trappings. It would draw the locals once or twice, perhaps, before finally becoming a tourist hot spot, the kind of place where Millennials take their in-laws. But BV Hospitality, the company behind the project, is capturing the tastebuds of San Franciscans with an overall recipe customized for locals.
Expert cocktails come courtesy of everybody's favorite bartenders, Josh Harris and Morgan Schick (of Trick Dog and The Bon Vivants). They've cultivated a bar menu brimming with personality and categorized names like big and beautiful, tall and fun, and pretty and proofless; the most exotic of which include ingredients like banana bread (Cuddly Toy) or Szechuan peppercorn (Strange Effect). But good drinks can be had anywhere. This place does happy hour proper with high-class comfort bites—think fancy hot dogs, plump sliders, and playful cheese plates—by James Beard Award–nominated chef Jason Franey (formerly of Monterey's 1833 and Eleven Madison Park in New York).
If not to eat or drink, Charmaine's decor alone makes it worthy of a visit. The design is curated by Kelly Wearstler—who has decked the halls of major hotels like the Avalon Beverly Hills and Viceroy hotels as well as styled homes of celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Cameron Diaz. You may even own a piece of her work without even knowing it; within her spread of design-oriented businesses, she maintains a luxury homewares line at Harrods, has a collection of books, self-branded lifestyle goods, and designer bridal products. Her signature style is felt through Charmaine's—a bold, vivid energy. She has designed the space to feel like you've entered somewhere cool. From the mixed collection of printed chairs to the red metal accents speckled throughout the space, everything is both topsy-turvy and chaotic while being cohesively entrancing.
Photography by Sarah Chorey
The more classically inclined can trust that the bartenders know how to pull together a smooth Old Fashioned.
// Charmaine's, 1100 Market St. (Mid-Market), charmainessf.com