Staycation Rx: The Clancy, an urban-cool hotel on SoMa's most laid-back block
(Courtesy of The Clancy)

Staycation Rx: The Clancy, an urban-cool hotel on SoMa's most laid-back block


The Clancy is a color-drenched shrine to the streets of San Francisco.

Opened in the fury of the pandemic just over a year ago, the Autograph Collection hotel has been quietly waiting for the opportunity to really show off its shiny new digs to travelers from near and far. That moment has finally arrived—and I’m lucky enough to be there for it.

In everything from its check-in desk to its rooms, The Clancy cultivates an urban sense of cool drawn straight from the city outside its door. Muni track lines on the floor guide visitors around the lobby and past The Alley graffiti wall—a send up to SF street art made from recycled spray paint cans by local artist Ian Ross—and into the Seven Square Taproom, a comfortable and sprawling salon with touches of mid-century modern and a sculpted black-and-white backdrop.

A wall of windows in the lounge opens onto Block 9, an enclosed outdoor patio named in homage to the hotel’s location on one of the original 10 blocks that formed the city of San Francisco. Set with two long communal fire pits and blue and chartreuse wingback chairs, and strung with cafe lights, the courtyard is a sanctuary in the SoMa hustle. In the Parklet (which is not actually a parklet but an event space), there’s a bright etherealist mural by East Bay juggernaut Hueman.

(Courtesy of The Clancy)

Upstairs, the guest rooms are fitted with king- and queen-sized beds with dramatic, oversized white headboards, and abstract black-and-white rugs. Colorful artwork and sofas decorate each space and, in the two-room suites, the latter folds out into a bed. Pets are welcome with a $150 fee per stay, and they’re treated like the floofy royalty they are with a bed and bathrobe just for them, locally made treats, and their very own Yappy Hour menu to enjoy on the patio. WiFi in the rooms, unfortunately, costs extra.

On my last staycation, the hotel was lovely but, outside its multi-story fortress in the Tenderloin, things were, how do I put it…sketchy. I was thrilled to discover that The Clancy isn’t obviously plagued by the problems found in other areas of downtown—it’s possibly the most laid back block SoMa’s got. Plus, the hotel’s Second Street location halfway between Oracle Park and the SFMOMa makes the rest of the neighborhood and the Embarcadero super accessible.

While there are a number of excellent restaurants (think Marlowe, Rooh, Saison) within a few minutes walk, sometimes all you want from a hotel are tasty eats right in house. The Clancy’s got that.

The Seven Square Taproom is an unfussy place where the food’s preparation has clearly been carefully fussed over. Chef Dawn Taylor-Cole has concocted a range of elevated comfort dishes enhanced by global flavors like dry-rub mango jerk chicken wings and steak frites with mojo-marinated hanger steak, spicy dragon fruit, and Fresno pepper salsa.

For dinner, I go with the grilled salmon with sauteed bok choy and roasted butternut squash drenched in a spicy miso broth and what are undoubtedly some of the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever had, crispy and caramelized with lemon shiso dressing and pickled Fresno chilis. I eat cozied up to the fire pit on the Block 9 patio with the sky overhead glowing almost purple with the lights of the SoMa night (food can also be ordered to the lounge, to the bar, or to a booth in the Taproom’s more traditional restaurant area). My server is so timely and knowledgeable that I wish I could clone her and gift her abilities to all of the city’s restaurants.

(Courtesy of The Clancy)

Because I can’t decide on dessert, they bring me all three: the silky red velvet mousse cake, the creamy and rich chocolate trio mousse cake, and the banana-anna bread which turns from pedestrian to indulgent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

The drinks list is brimming with abundance and, while I stick to local beer (of which they have 10 on tap), the wine offerings and cocktail list, including artisan creations like a smoked maple old fashioned and a dragon mule made with acai blueberry vodka and dragon fruit, are enticing. When I’m ready to retire to my room, they send me off with a smile and a carefully packaged box of yet-to-be devoured dessert.

In the morning I expect to be awoken by the sounds of the neighborhood coming alive, but my room on the eighth floor stays cool, quiet, and mercifully dark (thank you blackout curtains!) until my alarm jars me awake. A little while later, still bleary-eyed, I shuffle my way to the Radiator Coffee Salon in the lobby, which serves beautiful pastries from Craftsman and Wolves and Equator Coffee.

I stay put in the lounge as long as I can, sipping chai and browsing the day’s news but, like all good things, my stay at The Clancy has an expiration date. I check out in 10 seconds flat, then walk out onto the streets of SoMa and embrace the city with open arms.

// The Clancy, 299 2nd St (SoMa),

Artwork by SF's Ian Ross.(Courtesy of The Clancy)

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