You are here

What’s New in San Francisco - September 2015

What’s New” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website,


September 11, 2015 — “What’s New” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website,


Bon Appétit Names San Francisco “The Best Food City in the Country Right Now”

Bon Appétit, America's food and entertaining magazine since 1956, has named San Francisco “The Best Food City in the Country Right Now” and placed AL’s Place at the top of the list of “The Hot 10: America's Best New Restaurants.” San Francisco had more entries than any other city on the magazine’s list of “The 50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2015.”

Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit’s deputy editor, wrote that “Over four days and 15 meals, San Francisco proved itself on culinary fire in 2015…I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a concentration of exciting and invigorating restaurants in a single year, in a single season. Not even in New York…Yep, the city’s eating scene is having a great year. I’d say it’s time to pay it a visit.”

In naming AL’s Place (1499 Valencia St.) America’s best new restaurant, Knowlton advises, “To fully appreciate our restaurant of the year, step inside the obsessive, fanatical, and wildly creative world of Chef Aaron London. Trust us, it's worth the trip.”  Rintaro (82 14th St.) is on the list in the number eight spot.  Knowlton writes of Sylvan Mishima Brackett’s izakaya, “Brackett melds traditional Japanese technique with an almost maniacal dedication to California produce.”   

Fairmont’s Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar Celebrates 70 Years of Tiki Glory   

This September, the iconic Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, located at Fairmont San Francisco, will celebrate seven decades of delighting guests with tropical décor, decadent libations and island-inspired cuisine.  Tonga Room, the oldest continually-operating tiki bar in North America, opened its doors on September 18, 1945 and has reigned as a swanky outpost of South Seas splendor ever since.  

In celebration of this momentous occasion, locals and visitors alike are invited to toast this legendary location throughout the anniversary year. Mai Tai merriment will commence with Tonga Room’s 70th Anniversary Tiki Chic Party on Sept.23, 2015 from 7:00 pm until closing. This ticketed event will feature delectable bites, spirited cocktails, live music and more. Tiki chic, festive cocktail attire is suggested. Tickets are available for purchase here.

Fairmont San Francisco created an indoor 75-foot swimming pool on its Terrace Level in 1929.  Known as the Fairmont Terrace Plunge, the elaborate tile pool attracted local crowds, Olympic athlete training and celebrities such as Helen Hayes, Ronald Reagan and members of the Water Follies.  

In 1945, Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s leading set director, Mel Melvin, was hired to transform The Terrace Plunge into Tonga Room.  The pool became a lagoon, a floating stage for the orchestra that entertained guests each evening.  Not surprisingly, Tonga Room was an instant success. 

Following a $1 million restoration by Gensler San Francisco in 2008 and an updated cocktail menu featuring fresh new ingredients in 2013, Tonga Room rekindled the interest and nostalgia of one of the nation’s first tiki palaces.

Today, Tonga Room is riding the wave of the tiki revival and is the venue of choice for several  high-profile figures who have celebrated everything from wedding rehearsals, birthdays and holidays at this unique location.  Tonga Room continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s hottest bars by several notable publications and has been featured on numerous television shows.  During his 2012 visit for Travel Channel’s “The Layover,” Anthony Bourdain even exclaimed Tonga Room is “the greatest place in the history of the world!” 

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar features The Island Groove, a top-40 band, performing on a thatch-covered barge in the lagoon; a dance floor built from the remains of the S.S. Forester, a lumber schooner that once traveled regularly between San Francisco and the South Sea Islands; and periodic light tropical rainstorms, complete with thunder and lightning.

The celebrated tiki haven serves island-inspired cuisine, showcasing fish flown in directly from Hawaii for a truly authentic dining experience.  

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar at The Fairmont San Francisco is located at 950 Mason St.  For reservations, call 415-772-5278 or visit Media contact: Melissa Farrar, 415-772-5041,

Anchor Brewing Teams Up with the San Francisco Giants to Release Giants Orange Splash Lager™

In celebration of a longstanding partnership and a 2014 Championship season, Anchor Brewing and the San Francisco Giants have released an exclusive, limited edition, collaboration beer, Giants Orange Splash Lager™ (5.2% ABV).  This limited edition beer will be available on tap at the Anchor Beer Garden at The Yard, Anchor Brewing Taproom and select bars in San Francisco now through the end of the 2015 baseball season.  

On March 26, 1903, seven years after Anchor Brewing began making Anchor Steam Beer®, the team that would become known as the San Francisco Seals played its first Pacific Coast League game. Since that fateful day, Anchor Steam Beer has become inextricably linked to the Bay Area baseball experience as San Francisco’s beer. 

“Collaborating with the San Francisco Giants has been a longtime dream for me and many fellow brewers at Anchor,” said Anchor Brewmaster Mark Carpenter.  “Anchor Steam is San Francisco’s beer, and I think it’s fitting to brew one celebrating San Francisco’s team.  For Giants Orange Splash Lager, we wanted to create something as unique and special as the Giants themselves.  We did this by combining a blend of Pale 2-Row, Caramel, and Patagonia Malts with Apollo, Bravo, and experimental hops.  The result is a refreshing, citrusy brew that’s exceptionally tasty. It’s a homerun if you ask me!”

Learn more about the San Francisco Brews & Baseball tradition at  Media contact: Marisa Bettencourt,, 323-443-7780.

CUESA Announces Mission Rock Farmers Market Pop-Up Series at The Yard

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), the nonprofit operator of the acclaimed Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, has launched a series of farmers market pop-ups at The Yard at Mission Rock, across from AT&T Park, in partnership with the San Francisco Giants and Bank of America.

The pop-ups will be held on the last Sunday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., September through December. Each pop-up farmers market will feature a unique theme highlighting the bounty of the local harvest and the holidays. Tentative themes include "Preserving the Season" (Sept.27), "Harvest Festival" (Oct. 25), "Thanksgiving Market" (Nov. 22), and "Holiday Market" (Dec.20).

Expanding on the high standard of excellence set by the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, CUESA aims to curate approximately 10 to 15 agricultural producers and food crafters and five restaurants for each pop-up market, with the goal of showcasing new and innovative food businesses to provide a sustainable marketplace for the Mission Rock community.

CUESA will offer fun and compelling activities related to food and sustainability to educate market-goers of all ages, such as cooking demonstrations by local chefs, seasonal produce tastings, and hands-on activities related to DIY kitchen skills. From apple cider pressing to pie demos, these programs will support CUESA's mission to connect urban eaters with talented farmers and food makers from Bay Area foodshed and beyond.

Launched earlier this year by the San Francisco Giants, The Yard at Mission Rock is a pop-up village constructed out of recycled shipping containers that houses local establishments such as Anchor Brewing, Peet's Coffee, The North Face, and Off the Grid. Open year-round, The Yard serves as gathering place for those who live and work in the South Beach and Mission Bay neighborhoods by providing regular events and cultural programming. 

For more information on The Yard at Mission Rock, visit  Media contacts: Giants - Leah Trafford/Shana Daum, 415-972-1817/415-972-2496,, CUESA - Brie Mazurek, 415-291-3276 x104,

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco Debuts the JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Tasting Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco has joined forces with legendary winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset to unveil a new luxury tasting lounge in the hotel lobby. The new JCB Tasting Lounge offers exclusive wine tasting flights, ranging from $50 to $100 per person, and includes some of the most decadent, exquisite, limited wines within the Boisset Collection. Guests are invited to enjoy the tasting flights with specially curated food options from Chef de Cuisine Michael Rotondo of the hotel’s award-winning Parallel 37.   The sophisticated space also houses a retail boutique, offering a selection of gifts ranging from JCB-branded items such as custom-designed jewelry, candles, wine accessories and perfumes, to select merchandise from Baccarat, Christofle, Bernardaud and Goyard. Complementing the hotel’s recent transformation inspired by the Bay Area and couture fashion, The JCB Tasting Lounge offers rare and exclusive wines in an intimate setting that exudes vibrancy and opulence. The interiors and design, along with Jean-Charles Boisset’s own line of custom accessories, create a lavish ambiance for the wine connoisseur. For more information, call 415-296-2329 or visit Media contact: Ty Bentsen, 323-944-0064,

Mariposa Baking – Gluten Free Goodies

In 2002, Patti Furey Crane adopted a gluten-free diet following a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, an auto-immune disease.  She turned her health around through food, diet and managing stress.  Crane craved high-quality sweets while pregnant with her first child. Finding few options at the time, she set to baking them herself. And so, in 2004, Mariposa Baking was hatched. Mariposa's mission was to create wholesome, hand-crafted food using the finest natural ingredients.

In 2009, they opened a second home – a kiosk outside of the San Francisco's Ferry Building. Mariposa’s presence in this food purveyors’ paradise enabled them to bring daily bread and hand-crafted treats to San Francisco’s gluten-free community. Two and a half years later, they opened Mariposa's SF Bakeshop inside of the ferry building.

“We want gluten-free travelers visiting San Francisco to know they have a safe and delicious spot to eat in the iconic Ferry Building Marketplace,” says Marketing Manager Marisa Robb.  “Mariposa Baking is not about disease - whether MS or Celiac Disease.  Mariposa is about health and well-being and the start of a transformation that's possible through food.“

For more information, visit  Media contact: Marisa Robb, 510-595-0955, ext.105,


ART NIGHT SF Launches with Three Events

ART NIGHT SF is a new outdoor event series working to activate the public spaces of United Nations Plaza and Central Market through accessible installations of contemporary art. Works by emerging and established San Francisco-based artists will be exhibited in a free-to-enter area, and visitors may enjoy local food, cocktails and music programming. Launching with three pilot events on Sept. 17, Oct. 1 and Oct.  22 at 5-9 p.m., this open-to-the-public series aims to provide a dynamic platform for creative expression and cultural exchange in the emerging Central Market Arts District. 

ART NIGHT SF represents a collaboration between local galleries, museums, arts nonprofits and independent artists with the collective aim of publicly championing the arts in San Francisco. Participating artists, galleries, museums and arts organizations include  The Anderson Collection, Asian Art Museum, SF Arts Commission, Et Al Gallery, The Thing Quarterly, Incline Gallery, The Lab, Alter Space Gallery, The Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco Public Library, People I’ve Loved, Strange Cessation Editions, N.I.A.D., Eggy Press, Bonanza, For Your Love and/or Money, Joseph Ferriso, Nick Makanna, Annie Vought, Mitsu Okubo, Apex, Lexi Visco, Mary Durell, Koak, Jovi Schnell, Chris Treggiari, Brooke Westfall, Ramekon O’Arwisters’ Crochet Jam, Kylea Borges, Lisa Blatt, Charlie Leese and Hunt Projects, Gregory Smith, Robert Minervini, Yarrow Slaps, Kelly Ording, Brett Walker, Reenie Charrière, Rachel Dawson, Ethan Rafal, Holy Stich, Kim Ip, Holly Coley, Christian Dicky Davies, Chelsea Pegram, Savannah Rusher, Jennie Lennick, Sarah Thibault, Cate White, Laura Hyunjhee Kim + Chris Corrente, James Chronister, Glen Helfand and his Mills College MFA Class.  For more Information, visit  Media contact: Jenny Sharaf,, 310-402-3369.

Looking East at the Asian Art Museum Explores How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh and Other Western Artists, Oct. 30, 2015–Feb. 7, 2016   

Japan’s opening to international trade in the 1850s after centuries of self-imposed isolation set off a craze for all things Japanese among European and North American collectors, artists and designers. The phenomenon, dubbed japonisme by French writers, radically altered the course of Western art in the modern era. San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum delves into this sweeping development in the traveling exhibition Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh, and Other Western Artists. The exhibition traces the West’s growing fascination with Japan, the collecting of Japanese objects, and the exploration of Japanese subject matter and styles. Looking East will be on view from Oct. 30, 2015–Feb. 7, 2016 with the exhibition's final weeks marking the start of the museum's 50th anniversary year in 2016. The museum will offer special events and activities throughout 2016 to commemorate this important milestone.    

Looking East features more than 170 artworks drawn from the acclaimed collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with masterpieces by the great impressionist and post-impressionist painters Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Paul Gauguin, among others. The art and culture of Japan inspired leading artists throughout Europe and the United States to create works of renewed vision and singular beauty. Profoundly affected by Japan’s art, Van Gogh went so far as to write in an 1888 letter, “My whole work is founded on the Japanese.” 

Learn more at  Media contact: Tim Hallman, 415-581-3711,

Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” in San Francisco Debut at the Legion of Honor Jan. 9-Apr. 10, 2016

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Cincinnati Art Museum are pleased to announce Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn.” This focused exhibition features one of Raphael’s most beguiling and enigmatic paintings. The masterpiece, presented in the United States for the first time, will be lent by the Galleria Borghese in Rome, where it was first recorded in the collection in 1682. 

“Raphael’s ‘Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn’ is a stunning masterpiece of the Italian High Renaissance. When it arrives in San Francisco for the first time, we will greet it with new scholarship as well as a celebration fitting for the blond beauty and her mysterious unicorn,” says Dr. Esther Bell, curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is the organizing curator of the exhibition and the editor of the accompanying catalogue. Dr. Bell was previously a curator of European paintings, drawings and sculpture at the Cincinnati Art Museum. 

“Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” (ca. 1505–1506) features an unidentified blond-haired sitter and epitomizes the beauty of Raphael’s female portraits during his Florentine period. The exhibition will explore the possible identity of this subject, as well as the painting’s distinct iconography, including the unicorn she holds in her lap. Scholars believe that the painting was commissioned to celebrate a wedding, and the unicorn, a conventional symbol of chastity, may offer clues to her familial lineage.

The exhibition further highlights the stylistic relationships between this masterpiece and Leonardo da Vinci’s ”Mona Lisa.” Leonardo’s canonical work, painted in Florence in the early years of the 16th century, had a great impact on the younger Raphael, who also practiced in the city during this period. Raphael’s sophisticated adaptation of Leonardo’s innovations in portrait compositions resulted in Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn, a painting that hints at the Mona Lisa with its half-length format, its sitter with hands folded in her lap, and its setting before a distant landscape. Visitors will be able to explore Raphael’s painting in detail and get a glimpse into its intriguing history.

For more information, visit .  Media contacts: Erin Garcia,, 415.750.8904 and Miriam Newcomer,, 415-750-3554.

Intersection for the Arts Returns to its Roots in the Tenderloin for 50th Anniversary Concert at Glide Memorial Church, Sept. 12, 2015 

Intersection for the Arts celebrates five decades of continuous service to Bay Area artists and audiences with The Circle, a series of performing, literary and visual arts programs commemorating its extraordinary past and showcasing the next generation of artists who will shape the cultural landscape of tomorrow. 

On Sept. 12, 2015, Intersection returns to its roots with the 50th Anniversary Concert at Glide Memorial Church to celebrate the legacy of this incredible Bay Area institution.  The evening, co-presented with Glide, features works by poets, performers and musicians from the past five decades.  Anchoring the program is the Awesöme Orchestra Collective under conductor David Möschler working in collaboration with Lyz Luke, director of Intersection CORE member project UnderCover Presents.     

After an invocation from Glide’s Founder Rev. Cecil Williams and a reading by Janice Mirikitani, Glide’s Founding President and a poet laureate of San Francisco, poets, musicians and performers from Intersection’s past and present, as well as the next generation of artists, will take the stage between musical segments.  Among the special guest artists are performers Idris Ackamoor, Rhodessa Jones, and Nicole Klaymoon; actor/director Sean San José; musician Marcus Shelby; poet Bill Berkson; young artists from Youth Speaks; and guest vocalists Diana Gameros, Meklit Hadero and Carletta Sue Kay.

The concert begins at 6 p.m. at Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis St. in the Tenderloin. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

For 50 years Intersection for the Arts has played a unique role in the development of the Bay Area’s rich, innovative, and diverse arts ecosystem by connecting people and communities across physical, social, cultural, and economic boundaries to instigate change.  Through a platform of resources - fiscal sponsorship, incubation, professional development, technical assistance, community gatherings, artist’s residencies, exhibitions, and live performance  - Intersection fosters the advancement of the Bay Area arts community by creating sustainable models for artists and arts organizations that are critical in a rapidly changing world. Intersection’s Artists Resources/Incubator Programs provide assistance to more than 120 artists and arts organizations to support the growth of their practices, the development of sustainable livelihoods, and the realization of their work.

For a complete schedule of Intersection’s 50th Anniversary programming, go to  Media contact: Kathy Budas, 971-244-3120;   


New American Bookbinders Museum Brings History and Craft of Bookbinding to Life

The American Bookbinders Museum, which opened in July 2015 at 355 Clementina St., is dedicated to providing a complete experience of bookbinding history, craft and culture. The museum was founded by Tim James, a commercial bookbinder who became fascinated with the craft’s history while he was amassing and upgrading his equipment.  Researching and acquiring vintage materials became a dedicated hobby but as his collection of machines, books and periodicals became more massive it raised the question of what he was supposed to do with all of it.  The answer was to use these resources to mount an authentic, fully-functional 19th century-style bookbindery. All of the equipment in the museum works just as it did in the 19th century.   Open Monday-Friday.  For hours, appointments and more information, visit
Media contact: Jane Mauthe, 415-824-9754,

See the BigPicture at California Academy of Sciences through Nov. 2, 2015

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco now offers BigPicture, the museum’s second annual natural world photography exhibit. Featuring the work of award-winning nature, wildlife, and conservation photographers from around the world, the exhibit will display winning images from the Academy’s BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition, using photography as a means to celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action toward a sustainable future. The exhibit is on display through Nov. 2, 2015.

Over 6,000 photographic submissions—received from photographers from 69 different countries—were reviewed by a judging panel of esteemed professional photographers and photo editors. The exhibit features 48 works from finalists representing 24 countries. In just its inaugural year, the BigPicture competition received a four-star rating (the highest possible honor) from “The Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests” by PhotoShelter, one of the world’s leading photography resources.

For information, visit   Media contact:

Cruisin’ the Castro Debuts Castro Food & Wine Tour 

Cruisin' the Castro Walking Tours, touring the Castro neighborhood since 1989, now offers the neighborhood’s first Castro Food and Wine Tour.

“One of the best parts of our Castro community is its vibrant LGBT social scene. The Castro Food and Wine Tour highlights some of our neighborhood’s most popular wine bars and culinary establishments,” said owner and tour guide Kathy Amendola.

Inspired by early Spanish and Italian settlers, the Castro Food and Wine Tour focuses on the fusion of evocative Old and New World bounties and superb wines. Featured partnerships include Blush Wine Bar, Canela Bistro & Wine Bar, Catch, Poesia and Hot Cookie.  Tours are offered Thursday and Friday evenings at 4-7 p.m. and include four stops, three glasses of wine and family-style food.  Reservations are required. 

Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours is a TripAdvisor "Hall of Fame" Member and offers the Historical Castro Walking Tour four days a week. The two hour tour weaves the rich history and historical LGBT sites of the Castro neighborhood, known as the “Gay Mecca,” from the Gold Rush, to civil rights leader Harvey Milk, to the new Rainbow Honor Walk and beyond. 

For reservations and information, visit or call 415-255-1821. Media contact: Kathy Amendola, 415-255-1821,  

Alcatraz Cruises and Hornblower Cruises & Events Close In On Zero Waste

Alcatraz Cruises is nearing the achievement of zero waste status in the year 2015.  This accolade is determined by the company’s annual environmental verification and process management results, which are conducted by two international audit and consulting firms.  The company’s 2014 recycling program audit results verified a solid 94% landfill diversion and recycling/compost rate in addition to the marked achievement of reaching 96% landfill diversion and recycling/compost rate during some of the calendar months. The company is on the path and striving to reach the achievement of zero waste status by making an instrumental move to 95% and upward for each and every calendar month for the year 2015. The verification audit for the 2015 data is slated for the first quarter of 2016.  

An integral part of the company’s mission and corporate philosophy, Alcatraz Cruises’ “Respect Our Planet “ (ROP) program supports the company’s distinction as one of the country’s most conscientious employers because of the commitment to respecting the crew of employees as well as the natural environment. 

According to Alcatraz Cruises’ General Manager & Vice President Scott Thornton, “The ‘Respect Our Planet’ Commitment to each and every employee, guest and stakeholder alike states that through our integrated health and safety, quality and environmental management systems, we strive to provide superior service and leave the planet a better place than when we began.”  

Alcatraz Cruises holds the high honor and designation of being the first National Park Service Ferry Concessionaire and member of the Passenger Vessel Association to be awarded the triple certified status of ISO Environment-14001, Quality-9001 and OHSAS Health & Safety 18001.  The outside auditors recertify the company’s practices against the ISO standards annually as testimony to the improvements and innovations implemented continuously.  The company has won numerous environmental awards for these environmental innovations, such as the Business Times Environmental Award for “Small Business Best Practices” and the Workboat Significant Boat Award.    

In addition to the progressive corporate philosophy, Alcatraz Cruises launched the Hornblower Hybrid Fleet, which introduced the first hybrid ferry to the United States and San Francisco Bay in 2009.  The vessels provide transportation to Alcatraz Island in accordance with their concession contract with the National Park Service. Since that time the remaining two primary vessels in the Alcatraz Cruises fleet have been hybridized, making Alcatraz Cruises the only passenger vessel company in North America with a fleet of hybrid vessels. 

According to Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower Cruises & Events (the parent company to Alcatraz Cruises), “The Hornblower Hybrid Fleet is an example of our company’s goal of becoming the greenest concessioner in the National Park Service.  With this Hornblower Hybrid fleet, we are now being recognized as a model of environmental innovation in San Francisco as well as New York.”

For more information visit:  Media contact:  Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252,             


Axiom Hotel Now Accepting Reservations for Jan. 2016 and Beyond

The Axiom Hotel, 28 Cyril Magnin St. in San Francisco’s Union Square, is now accepting reservations to welcome guests to the property’s eagerly-awaited late fall 2015 opening. Travelers and locals alike may now reserve rooms at for stays beginning in January and beyond. 

Located steps from the cable car turnaround, the Axiom Hotel will open as San Francisco’s newest digital-meets-lifestyle hotel. The property will offer a new food and beverage concept, a fitness center, a customizable state of the art meeting Hub, and a vintage arcade center on the Cloud level. Featuring 152 guestrooms with contemporary design, there will be four room styles available, each named after tech dimensions including Nano, Mono, Meta and Mega.   

For reservations and information, visit  Media contacts: Lani Vaill, 415-274-2510,

Loews Regency San Francisco Re-Launches “Sky Deck Yoga” on 40th Floor Outdoor Terrace and Offers Chef-Guided Tour of Ferry Building and Farmers Market

The Loews Regency San Francisco Hotel is re-launching the much-loved yoga program on the hotel’s 40th floor Sky Deck. Partnering with the Financial District’s cutting-edge yoga and core strength studio, Wheel House, guests of Loews Regency San Francisco and locals alike will be able to enjoy yoga class with panoramic views of the city. 

Formerly known as “Yoga in the Sky” the newly dubbed “Sky Deck Yoga” started Sept. 5, 2015 and will continue every Saturday morning through Nov. 7 (except Sept. 12). Open to just 20 spots per class, students will be treated to 180 degree views of San Francisco Bay, stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge. The uninterrupted vistas provide a beautiful and relaxing outdoor backdrop, ideal for practicing everything from Sun Salutation to Handstand Scorpion. The 75-minute session will conclude with refreshing house-made “Green Mixology” and “Hydration” juices from the hotel’s restaurant, Brasserie S&P.

Guests and non-guests can make a reservation by calling The Spa at Loews Regency San Francisco at 415-276-9769.  

Guests at Loews Regency San Francisco can also enjoy an expertly guided Ferry Building Walking Tour, led by the hotel’s very own Executive Chef Amol Agarwal, and special chats with the building’s popular local artisans.

Beginning Sept. 26, 2015, the complimentary one-hour tour will be offered every Saturday morning, and will take up to ten guests on a brief walk from Loews Regency San Francisco to the nearby Ferry Building to enjoy the day’s farm-fresh offerings and Chef Amol’s favorite vendors.

With the large weekly Farmers Market held outside, Saturdays are the big day for food-lovers to visit the Ferry Building,. Chef Amol’s guided tour begins here, through the colorful maze of fresh fruits and vegetables, where the city’s best chefs and farmers congregate.  

Inside the Ferry Building, the first stop is Blue Bottle, the Oakland-based coffee company known for their much-lauded small-batch roasting techniques. Walking south through the building, next up is the heavenly breads from Berkeley’s Acme Bread and Cowgirl Creamery, the famed NorCal artisan cheese shop. Farther along the tour are visits to Boccalone, which specializes in more than 20 varieties of handcrafted “tasty salted pig parts” and Stonehouse Olive Oil from Napa Valley. 

No trip to the Ferry Building is complete without some sweet treats, and Recchiuti is an indulgent stop for fine, French-inspired chocolates handmade in San Francisco. Last but certainly not least is the quirky yet addictive Humphry Slocombe ice cream, with signature flavors such as “Vietnamese Coffee” incorporating neighbor Blue Bottle and “Secret Breakfast” with its decidedly adult ingredient. 

For more information, visit  Media contact: Jaclyn Slifer, 323-491-1222 (office), 310-999-2177 (cell),


Cliché Noe Presents “Michelle Echenique: Found Histories” Through Sept. 28, 2015

Michelle Echenique is a mixed-media artist living and working in Noe Valley. In her showing “Found Histories” at Cliché Noe’s Gallery Shoppe, Sept. 3-28, 2015, she gathers carefully selected found materials to produce both two and three dimensional work. Making use of the reclaimed materials innate histories, she works to create something wholly new that hints at the familiar. The richly layered, textured results exude both joy and mystery inviting scrutiny.  For more information, visit   Cliché Noe Gifts + Home is located in Noe Valley at 4175  24th St. The Gallery Shoppe is a dedicated space intended to showcase local artists.

Cliché Noe has received the 2015 Best Gift Shop Award from the Best Businesses Award Program and was voted fourth of 34 for Best Gift Shop by City Voter,  

For more information, visit  Media contact: Dani Sheehan-Meyer, 415.282.5416,

Green Apple Books Keeps Local Bookstores Alive in Two Locations  

Independent bookstores in San Francisco thrive despite the ubiquity of online retail and they're the cultural center of many neighborhoods.  A prime example is the recent expansion of the iconic Green Apple Books.

The original store at 506 Clement St. in the Richmond District has served the community since 1967. In 2014 it won Publishers Weekly's Bookseller of the Year award, a national honor. 

Last summer, Green Apple opened a new bookstore at 1231 Ninth Ave. in the inner Sunset, featuring a warm environment, a well-curated selection of mostly new books, and a packed schedule of literary events. 

Green Apple saw a vibrant neighborhood - for both locals and park-bound tourists - without a bookstore and filled that hole with a shop that's been welcomed by the Sunset community.  

San Francisco boasts an unusually large number of independent bookstores and no chains.  They're a key part of most neighborhoods, and a browse at Green Apple, Green Apple Books on the Park, or any other San Francisco bookstore is a great way to connect with the real San Francisco.

Learn more at Media contact: Pete Mulvihill, 415-387-2272,

Timbuk2 Femme Collection Launches Luxe Bags for the Modern, Mobile Urban Woman

Timbuk2, the San Francisco-based pioneer of made-in-America customization, has launched of Femme, a luxe women’s line that seamlessly combines fashion with intuitive functionality for the stylish everyday commuter.   The inaugural collection will feature four styles in five color schemes.

The launch marks a significant step in Timbuk2’s evolution beyond an outdoor company to expand its relevance as a global lifestyle brand under the visionary leadership of its first female CEO Patti Cazzato, a veteran of the fashion industry.

This head-turning collection was conceived of and designed by Cazzato and Senior Design Director Andrea Chynoweth (Gemma Kahng, Vivienne Westwood, Levi Strauss). Chynoweth observed that women who were passionate about their Timbuk2 bags used them for commuting to and from work but changed to something they considered more fashionable when they headed out on the town. Motivated by this opportunity, Cazzato and Chenoweth set out to create a line that would bridge this gap and stylishly serve women during their commute and social engagements.

Timbuk2 Femme Collection is a modern blend of leather and metal, structure and suppleness, utility and luxury. The iconic three-panel design is reimagined by color blocking on the horizon, a fresh and feminine nod to the brand’s heritage. With elevated materials and trademark Timbuk2 innovation, this is a line every “It Girl” can confidently wear from bike to work to a night out. 

Timbuk2 is a San Francisco original, founded 25 years ago by bike messenger Rob Honeycutt in a garage in the city’s Mission District. Since its inception in 1989, Timbuk2 has designed quality bags, packs and accessories built to last a lifetime, evolving from the original bike messenger company to a pioneer of made-in-America customization and an industry leader in forward-thinking, sustainable manufacturing. The relentless drive to inspire urban mobility, enable individuality and promote responsibility has propelled Timbuk2 forward as it continues fusing passion and style to create durable, functional products informed by the company’s longstanding cycling roots and today’s vibrant city landscape. Timbuk2 products are sold at its retail stores in San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Venice Beach, Portland, Toronto, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Iceland, specialty retailers, and online at  

Media contact: Defne Altan,, 415-786-9613.

Scents of San Francisco - Destination Fragrances for Travelers and Dreamers

Scents of San Francisco offers unique souvenirs of the City by the Bay.  These hand-poured, soy wax candles evoke the ambiance of popular San Francisco neighborhoods and destinations with fragrance.  Iconic locations featured include Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the Castro, the Haight, North Beach, Chinatown, the Conservatory of Flowers, Ghirardelli Square, the Mission and Pacific Heights.  This local, family owned candle maker offers candle fragrances made from only essential oils that allow visitors to take the ambiance of favorite San Francisco locations home with them.   Visit to learn more. Media contact: Catherine LaSasso, 650-892-2191,


Napa Premium Outlets Enhances Shopping Experience with Byer California, Sketchers and Merrell  

Whether hunting for back-to-school shoes or on-trend women's fashion, Napa Premium Outlets shoppers can look forward to new stores, including Byer California coming this fall and the center's recent additions of Sketchers, Merrell and Maidenform, which have already been welcoming customers through their doors this summer.  As their only outlet store in Northern California, the new store will include Byer California's debut collection of the latest fashions developed by the company's design team. Sketchers,  a one-stop shopping destination for shoes located next to Calvin Klein, and Merrell , footwear situated between Maidenform and Bose,  are currently open for business. Maidenform provides intimate apparel that is thoughtfully designed, sourced and marketed for women.   Napa Premium Outlets offers more than 50 outlet stores, including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Barneys New York, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Gap Outlet, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Guess, J.Crew, Lucky Brand, Max Studio, Michael Kors, Talbots, Tommy Hilfiger, TSE and more.  For information, visit or call 707-226-9876.  Media contact: Kate Hudson, 206-454-3702, cell 206-914-353,  


Take the E Embarcadero Line to the Ballpark and Caltrain Depot

Muni riders are familiar with the historic F Market line. On Aug. 1-2, 2015 the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency launched a new historic streetcar line along the length of the Embarcadero. The E Embarcadero and F Market lines will run together from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building, but while the F line turns inland and heads out Market Street to Castro, the E line will continue along The Embarcadero and King Street to AT&T Park and the Caltrain Depot.  It will share tracks with the N- and T-line light rail vehicles south of Folsom Street, and has its own low-level boarding platforms and accessibility ramps at one end of each light rail station. Regular Muni fares apply; the E Embarcadero will operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Seven-day service on the E Embarcadero is still slated for early 2016.

Learn more at

Don’t Pass Cable Cars, It’s the Law   

Cable cars are figuratively and literally the backbone of San Francisco. Invented in 1873 by Andrew Smith Hallidie, the  cable car system was based on early mining conveyance systems and dominated the city’s transit scene for more than 30 years.  Hallidie's cable car system would survive the great San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906, soldier on through two World Wars and outlast political attempts to remove the cars from city streets in the late 1940s and 1950s to become the worldwide symbol of San Francisco that it is today.

California Vehicle Code § 21756 requires drivers to stop at a safe distance behind any trolley or streetcar. The law determines distance to be the rear of the nearest running board or door. The driver and their vehicle must remain stopped for the duration of passenger boarding and exiting.

“Cable cars attract people from all over the world,” said San Francisco Police Chief Chief Greg Suhr. “And with so many people getting on and off the vehicle, it is important for motorists to follow the law. A driver would never pass a school bus, same thing with cable cars.  Drivers who ignore this law can and will be cited.”

Fines for violation of the law are $238.00.

For more on the historic cable cars, visit:


Delta Opens New Delta Sky Club with Twice the Space, More Amenities

Delta Airlines has opened its new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 1at San Francisco International Airport.  The new facility, located beyond the TSA checkpoint, is twice the size of the previous Sky Club and stands as Delta’s signature club featuring all the newest elements including:

  • A full menu designed by signature author, culinary instructor and founder of local Thai restaurant LemonGrass, Chef Mai Pham
  • Food options including healthy selections like Greek yogurt, fresh bagels, hot soup and tasty salads
  • The Bar at Delta Sky Club®  with dozens of premium spirits, complimentary local IPA craft beer from Anchor Steam, seasonal cocktails, including inspired cocktails by signature Chef Pham 
  • Wine program curated by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson with wines selected from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Monterey, Paso Robles and Livermore Valley 
  • Featured art by a number of local artists
  • Upgraded and comfortable seating with modern décor
  • Two shower suites with Isaac Mizrahi soaps and lotions

Traditional offerings include Wi-Fi, TVs, magazines, private work area and flight assistance by concierges who can change flights, assign seats and issue new boarding passes.  Media contact: Anthony Black, 404-202-8475,

Copa Airlines to Start Nonstop Service Between SFO and Panama City Sept.17, 2015

Copa Airlines will begin nonstop service between SFO and Panama City, Panama this fall, with flights operating seven days per week to the airline’s hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City Airport, the largest and busiest in Central America.  Copa will operate a Boeing 737-800 next generation aircraft on the approximately six-hour 45-minute flight, with premium configuration and seating capacity for 16 passengers in business class and 138 in the main cabin.  Copa Airlines operates flights from its Hub of the Americas to more than 70 destinations in 30 countries around North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.  A member of the Star Alliance partnership of airlines, Copa was recognized as the “Leading Airline in Mexico and Central America” in August 2014 World Travel Awards, colloquially known as the “Oscars of Tourism.”  Copa has also earned multiple “Best Airline in Central America and the Caribbean” awards from SkyTrax, an independent international agency whose aviation benchmarking surveys are considered among the most reliable in the world.  In 2014, Copa was named “Top On-Time Airline in Latin America” in FlightStats’ annual ranking of airline on-time performance.  For more information, visit

Media contact: Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport,, 650-821-4000.


The following events are held on an annual basis and are updated throughout the year. All dates and locations are subject to change and should be confirmed with sponsors before making travel plans. General city information and detailed event calendars are available at


Architecture and the City
Citywide, 415-362-7397
Sponsored by AIA San Francisco, the largest architectural and design festival in the U.S. includes a series of architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures, home shows and more.

San Francisco Opera Opening Gala
War Memorial Opera House, 415-864-3330
The season begins with the annual opening night gala. 

San Francisco Fringe Festival
Exit Theatre and other downtown venues
415-931-1094 (info)
This annual festival is a marathon of 40-plus shows with low price tickets and a wide variety of alternative, classical, comedy, cabaret and new theater open to all performers on a non-curated basis.

Sausalito Floating Homes Tour
Sausalito, 415-332-1916
Self-guided tours include access to dozens of the most unique homes in the world; docents are onboard to describe Sausalito’s incredible waterfront style and to answer questions.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
Discover unique chocolate desserts and delicacies from Ghirardelli and beyond at this annual chocolate celebration. 

San Francisco Opera in the Park
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-864-3330
Enjoy this outdoor venue and free admission to an opera concert featuring arias and ensembles by the stars of the San Francisco Opera and the Opera Orchestra.

San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival
Treasure Island
Nearly 100 dragon boat teams and 2,500 paddlers from across North America will race the 500-meter course; festival also features entertainment and children’s activities. 

Autumn Moon Festival
Grant Ave. between California and Pacific Streets, 415-982-6306
This event features multicultural entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, arts and crafts, lantern village, moon cakes and children's activities.

Comedy Day
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-820-1570
Laugh out loud … it’s the free comedy “concert” featuring 30+ of the U.S.’s and Bay Area’s best comedians.  

Big Book Sale
Fort Mason Center
Held at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, the Annual Big Book Sale will feature over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories.

San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Night Gala
Davies Symphony Hall, 415-864-6000 (subscriptions available in March; individual tickets for concerts go on sale in July) 
The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas open the orchestra’s regular season with an Opening Gala Concert.

Oktoberfest By The Bay
Pier 48 near AT&T Park, 888-746-7522
Bringing Munich’s autumn beer festival to the Bay, Oktoberfest features non-stop singing, dancing, music, German food and beverages.

Muni Heritage Weekend
Featuring vintage streetcars, a special cable cars and possibly the introduction of one newly restored vehicle, the event celebrates San Francisco’s diverse and fascinating public transit history. 

Annual Peak2Peak Walk
Get a unique view of San Francisco's skyline and discover hidden stairways and paths on this 12-mile urban trek connecting neighborhoods, parks, and vistas as you walk the spine of the city, cresting 10 peaks along the way.

Bay Area Blues Festival
Two main stages, a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, gourmet food booths and much more are all a part of this annual homage to San Francisco’s blues roots. 

Folsom Street Fair 
Folsom Street between Seventh and 12th Streets, 415-777-3247
The “daddy of all leather celebrations,” the Folsom Street Fair is the largest leather, alternative and fetish street fair in the world drawing some 400,000 attendees annually, dressed in leather, rubber, uniforms, drag or very little at all. 


Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
This free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of top entertainment.

Glide Bridge to Bridge Run
Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge, 415-995-6868
Participants run from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate in this seaside 12K and 7K race.

Castro Street Fair
Castro Street, 415-841-1824
Arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, dancing and music are all part of the fun at this gay-friendly street festival.

Fleet Week San Francisco
Aquatic Park and Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, 415-306-0911
Fleet Week is the Bay Area’s opportunity to honor the nation’s men and women of the Navy and marine services. Navy ship tours and air show. Reserved seating and corporate packages available. 

Union Street Wine Walk
Union Street from Gough to Steiner and Fillmore Street from Union to Lombard, 800-310-6563
Restaurants and merchants along Union Street offer hors d’oeuvres and wine samples; attendees who wish to sample purchase tasting wristband prior to event and receive wine glass and map with all tasting locations

San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Brava Theater Center
A four-day event featuring the best dance films from around the world — and San Francisco’s own backyard. From feature documentaries on choreographic luminaries to innovative experimental shorts, the festival offers something for dance aficionados and newcomers alike. 

Mill Valley Film Festival
CineArts@Sequoia and 142 Throckmorton (Mill Valley), Century Cinema (Corte Madera), Lark Theatre (Larkspur) and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), 415-383-5256
Presented by the California Film Institute, the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent and world cinema; founded in 1978 it has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers.

Citywide, 415-440-4177 
A San Francisco literary festival showcases hundreds of the Bay Area’s finest writers for a week of readings, discussions, films, cross-media happenings and more.

LEAP Sandcastle Contest
Ocean Beach, Great Highway,  415-512-1899
Architects, engineers, contractors, designers and San Francisco school children collaborate every year to create majestic sculptures from sand.  Free and open to the public.

Yerba Buena Night
Yerba Buena Gardens
A free evening arts festival in the heart of one of San Francisco’s most exciting districts draws some 8,000 visitors to experience live music, video art and dance; four stages, video performance area, art installations and a gallery walk are part of the fun. 

Vintage Couture Ball
Fillmore Street between Geary and Eddy Streets
A three block area on the Fillmore entertainment corridor is transformed into a classy and hip trip back in time; each year San Francisco fashion and night life is celebrated. Celebrants wear their finest vintage attire from the past 10 decades.

ArtSpan/SF Open Studios
Various locations, 415-861-9838
San Francisco’s most exciting artists open their doors to the public and reveal their latest projects, how they work and what’s for sale.

San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade
Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach, 415-703-9888
The city celebrates its Italian heritage with a lively parade through North Beach with food, music, entertainment and celebrities.

Sundance Stompede
Various locations, 415-820-1403
San Francisco’s annual Country Western weekend for the LGBT community and friends. Join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls as they dance their feet off with three days of workshops and three nights of open dancing. 

OCTOBER 16-17, 23-24
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., 415-404-4111
Bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle bronco riding, team and tie-down roping and bull riding are among the competitive events. 

Potrero Hill Festival
Potrero Hill, 20th Street between Missouri and Arkansas Streets
The Potrero Hill Festival returns with a full day of fun, food, music and community activities. There will be special activities for the kids, including a puppet show and a petting zoo.

San Francisco Trolley Dances
Site-specific performances parallel major Muni routes; artists and ensembles are matched with specific sites to create 8- to 15-minute pieces in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area. 

Treasure Island Music Festival
Internationally renowned artists gather for a spectacular two-day, outdoor concert festival featuring electronic music and indie pop, local designers, artists, food and beverage. The two festival stages are erected on Treasure Island offering amazing views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline.

Nike Women’s Marathon
Nike Women's Marathon with 20,000 women racing together through the streets of San Francisco to raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
Fort Mason Center, 415-989-9019
The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast. The show includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe selling a broad range of antique merchandise.

3RD I Film Festival South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond
Castro and The New People Cinema, 415-835-4783
Committed to promoting diverse images of South Asians through independent film, from art-house classics to documentary films. 

Fiesta on the Hill
Cortland Avenue between Bocana and Folsom Street, Bernal Heights, 415-206 2140
For more than two decades this neighborhood street fair has drawn more than 15,000 people to this family-friendly event featuring pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, local artists and live music. 

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit or call 415-391-2000.  The Visitor Information Center is located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround. 

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and

# # #

Note to editors: For news and story ideas, follow @SFMediaRelation on Twitter.  Photos and press releases are available at