One of San Francisco’s best neighborhood’s isn’t anywhere near the trendy Mission District or bustling Hayes Valley. Keep going—past the Castro, through Noe Valley, over Twin Peaks—until you’re amid a cluster of Easter egg-hued houses and Volkswagen vans rusting from the briny wind that blows in from the Pacific. Welcome to the Outer Sunset.
This summer, SF-based outdoor gear company Alite Designs (whose founder is a former North Face design director) is luring intrepid urban travelers to this salty coastal enclave with its first seasonal popup, The Sea Stack.
Just a few blocks from Ocean Beach, The Sea Stack’s intimate space pulls visual inspiration from the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum in the Netherlands, yet is stocked with beach-ready items from local producers and artists. Take note of the limited-edition Bike to the Beach Bag, a collaboration between Susan Hoff and Alite, made with repurposed cloth sourced from boat sails. Keep an eye out for Alite’s new Made in California Lawn Chair with wooden handles and a leather woven sling, and local eyewear brand Sunski’s Taraval shades, named after the nearby surf break.
The walls of the encompassing Salty Dog Gallery are adorned with art from local photographers, illustrators, and ceramicists, including one wall that’s studded with a marine rock collection, giving the space a distinctly maritime feel.
And in true Outer Sunset friendly surfer vibe fashion, a backyard patio strewn with lounge chairs, reading materials, and a picnic table is used for barbecues, happy hours, and outdoor movie nights until October. Here are some upcoming highlights, hosted in partnership with local makers:
August 22: Blood and Bolts’s happy hour showcasing local artists including Miles Jackler, Alicia Toldi, and Adam Raymaker.
August 29: Sunski’s afternoon surf session at Ocean Beach, followed by a barbecue at The Sea Stack.
September 12: Gravel & Gold and Black Sands Brewery’s brewing workshop in the backyard.
September 19: An intimate backyard dinner party hosted by Nipomo, with local dishes and craft cocktails.