This Trendy Hotel Brand Just Opened Its Newest Outpost in San Francisco — With a Rooftop Cocktail Bar and Plenty of Local Art

Everything you need to know about the brand-new, local art–filled Line Hotel San Francisco, which just opened on Sept. 30.

Exterior of The Line hotel in San Francisco

Chase Daniel

The newest hotel in San Francisco doesn’t offer guests a departure from the city, but an extension of it, with design informed by the streets that surround it. “San Francisco provides endless inspiration — the sounds, colors, people, diversity, architecture,” says Knibb Design’s Sean Knibb, who was responsible for designing the interiors of The Line Hotel San Francisco, which opened September 30 in the city's Mid-Market neighborhood. “All the city’s elements blend to form a place and a city style so uniquely different from any other.” 

Rich elements of SF’s instantly recognizable streetscape pop up in a juxtaposition of color inspired by the iconic Victorians with the “grit and liveliness of the Tenderloin,” says Knibb, who also designed The Line hotels in Los Angeles and Austin. Take the 236 guest rooms, which he says were "exciting to bring to life.” Imaginative use of tile and graffiti tags link the bedroom to the bathroom, adding to a design conversation that spans from traditional ornate details like elaborate crown moldings to modern urban development. 

Interior of suite at The Line hotel in San Francisco

Chase Daniel

Interior of guest room at The Line hotel in San Francisco

Chase Daniel

There’s moody amber lighting, white oak furniture, exposed concrete, bespoke ceramics, floor-to-ceiling windows, and references that hit on colonial, Spanish, and Asian influences. But nothing is more surprising than the vivid tagged headboards. “I think the idea of having an upscale, modern hotel room with graffiti tag as a headboard is so unique and pushes the envelope by referencing the immediacy of the urban scape in a sophisticated, elevated [allusion to] what’s just beyond the walls of the hotel,” says Knibb.

Guests may very well come away with a new favorite artist, since art is the hotel’s very core, with commissioned and purchased works entirely by locals, including photography by Anna-Alexia Basile, Cinque Mubarak, and Kelsey McClellan. “As a hub for travelers from all over the world, we recognize this amazing opportunity to use our platform to showcase the immense creativity this city offers to a larger national and international audience,” says The Line head of creative Stefan Merriweather, citing nonprofit Root Division curating a quarterly rotating art exhibition in the city’s first Alfred Coffee, and a partnership with 826 Valencia, a children’s creative writing program that provided poetry for each guest room. 

Rooftop view from The Line hotel in San Francisco

Chase Daniel

Perhaps the most integrated is a monumental sculpture, commission by San Francisco–based artist Sasinun Kladpetch, which sprawls across four walls of the lobby. “As part of her process, Sasinun collects organic materials from San Francisco and the greater Bay Area,” Merriweather says. Think: soil, rebar, resin, moss, and glass. “In an effort to pay homage to what came before us, we had her visit our construction site to collect objects to incorporate into the sculptures as well.” 

Chef in restaurant at The Line hotel in San Francisco

Patrick Chin

The team took a similarly homegrown approach to dreaming up three original food-and-beverage concepts, designed by veteran Bay Area chef Joe Hou — previously of Angler and Le Fantastique — with libations by SF native bar master Danny Louie. There’s the indoor-outdoor Tenderheart, which puts a multicultural spin on Northern California cuisine. Merriweather promises it will be alive with creative energy streaming from the open kitchen, “reflective of the activity surrounding our location on Market Street between Golden Gate Theater, The Warfield, and the forthcoming gallery space by Jonathan Carver Moore.” At Rise Over Run, on the 12th-floor rooftop, expect a lively cocktail party vibe on the terrace and solarium, with awe-inspiring panoramas of the San Fran skyline. 

Dinner table of food and wine at The Line hotel in San Francisco

Patrick Chin

Vinyl record plater and bar at The Line hotel in San Francisco

Patrick Chin

And then there’s Dark Bar, a dimly lit nod to the quintessential lobby drinking den, which Merriweather touts as a "more intimate bar experience.” In a way, it’s The Line in a nutshell, a thoughtful, curated place to appreciate and savor all the quirks and texture of the city outside. As Merriweather says, “Hotels are just inanimate objects, but the people inside them, the partnerships, and the community they reside in are what really brings the space to life and allows us to create unique experiences.”

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