5 Things to Look Forward to in 2024: The Return of Cliff House, Starlite + More
The iconic Cliff House in 1909 reopens in 2024 under new management (and a new name). (Courtesy of @cliffhousesf)

5 Things to Look Forward to in 2024: The Return of Cliff House, Starlite + More


If you’re feeling deflated after a busy December, we get it. The couch is looking awfully good right about now.

But don’t wallow too long in your post-holiday hangover. There’s tons of good stuff in store for 2024.

From up-and-coming bars and restaurants to brand new festivals, here are the top five things we’re looking forward to in the Bay Area this year.

Outside Lands gets a more intimate sister festival for the first time in August 2024.(Courtesy of @outsidelands/@alivecoverage)

New Summertime Outdoor Concerts in San Francisco

Building on the city’s grand tradition of annual outdoor shows (love you, Stern Grove and Outside Lands), two new summer music festivals will debut in SF this year. The first series will rock three downtown locations: Civic Center, Union Square, and the Embarcadero. Although there’s no word yet on who will take the stage, we do know that each one will be absolutely free. The second festival will hit the stage at the Golden Gate Park Polo Fields the week after Outside Lands in August, a more intimate weekend event with one major headliner and lots of smaller bands. You’ll have to purchase tickets to attend this one, but organizers have made a deal with the city to provide free Muni rides for concertgoers. Stay tuned for more info. // apeconcerts.com

The Return of the Cliff House

We know we weren’t the only ones that poured one out for the Cliff House when it went dark in 2020. So we are more than thrilled that the historic seaside spot will finally be back in late 2024, albeit under a different, still undisclosed name. It sounds like the restaurant’s new operators, the group behind Madrigal and Trestle, have big plans to revitalize the space and menu in ways that will attract not just tourists, but locals too. We’re just hoping they don’t forget the popovers. // 1090 Point Lobos Ave. (Outer Richmond), cliffhouse.com

New Happenings in Napa

Napa—the city, not the valley—welcomed some great newcomers in 2023 (we’re looking at you Chispa Tequila Bar, Arch & Tower, and Folklore) and they’re not done yet; big things are afoot in 2024, too. We can’t wait to plan a weekend stay to take advantage of it all, with the soon-to-be-completed, freshly remodeled guest rooms at the luxe Meritage Resort (875 Bordeaux Way) as our home base. For eats, you’ll find us at chef Mourad Lahlou’s upcoming Marrakesh-night-market-inspired Moro at the Oxbow Public Market (601 1st St.) and the new home of chef Darryl Bell’s Kansas-style barbecue at Stateline Road Smokehouse (872 Vallejo St.)

Cantonese restaurant Four Kings is one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings on our radar this year.(Courtesy of @fourkings_/@tankyfranky/@ohpetelee)

A Permanent Home for Four Kings

Chefs Franky Ho and Mike Long, the masterminds behind the buzzy pop-up Four Kings, are making a permanent move to Chinatown early this year. The Mister Jiu’s alums will be cooking up a Cantonese storm in the kitchen with Hong Kong–flavored dishes like pork chop tomato rice and mapo spaghetti that echo their days as itinerant, knife-wielding magic makers. Expect unfussy food, friendly vibes, and pumping ‘90s Canto-pop. // 710 Commercial St. (Chinatown), itsfourkings.com

The Reopening of a Historic Bar with 360 Degree Views

For decades, everyone who was anyone bellied up to the bar on the 21st floor of Union Square’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel (now the beautifully renovated Beacon Grand). From its first days as a Prohibition speakeasy to its turn as a mid-century hangout for celebrities and local luminaries like Alan Ginsberg and Herb Caen, to its time as a hot nightlife and drag brunch spot in the ‘90s, the window-walled bar and lounge has more than a few stories to tell. After several quiet years, the bar will reopen in February as Starlite (a nod to its ‘90s moniker Harry Denton’s Starlight Room) and, honestly, with the roster of creatives involved, there’s just no way it won’t kick ass. Look for Art Deco–inspired decor by Ken Fulk Inc. alum Alice Crumeyrolle, cocktails by 15 Romolo’s Scott Baird, food by Michelin-starred chef Johnny Spero, and nightly vinyl DJ sets. // 450 Powell St. (Union Square), beacongrand.com/starlite

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