Dining Design Diary: Go Inside New SF Hot Spot Maven


Lately, we’ve been hearing all about the most recent addition to San Francisco’s Lower Haight, Maven. The restaurant, which opened last month, has earned raves for its nontraditional take on food-and-cocktail pairings. It’s not just the tasty offerings that have garnered the space attention. 

Designed by Gi Paloetti of Gi Paoletti Design Lab, the space is as sophisticated and unexpected as the menu. The designer has worked on many of our favorite SF spaces, ranging from Per Diem in the Financial District to Bloodhound in SOMA. We recently got a chance to talk with Paoletti, who said that she took cues from the concept of the restaurant and applied it to the design of the space. 

The Maven menu blurs the line between the beverages and food–pairing them together. Paoletti, in turn, was able to blur the line between the front of the house and back. She designed the space so that the presence of the bar  and the kitchen were equal. Paoletti opened the kitchen up to guest by lowering the wall that separated it from the dining room. She also added a built-in counter on the mezzanine level to give diners a bird’s-eye view of the chefs working in the kitchen below. Seating on the ground level was set at bar height so that downstairs diners could also enjoy the show.

To create a space that is comfortable, fresh and natural, the designer used raw-edged wood, a textured faux concrete, and three large vertical living wall alcoves installed above the bar which draw the attention of restaurant goers as they enter the space. Above, the mezzanine was staged with three lounge seating areas and a fire place.

The space has plenty of beautiful elements, but Paoletti said that her favorite feature is the trio of red, shaved wood pendant light fixtures that hang over the community tables.  They provide a splash of color in an otherwise serene palette and they draw out the burgundy and red plants present in the vertical living wall sections.

It’s a stunning space, and we can’t wait to check out Paoletti’s next project–the soon-to-open St. Vincent, David Lynch’s newest restaurant in the Mission.

Tell us! What do you think of this space?

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