OpeningsUp Front

SF Openings in February

By Katie Sweeney

Caren Campbell, MD Dermatology 450 Sutter St #2340

A visit to Dr. Caren Campbell’s new office isn’t your typical medspa experience. Located on the 23rd floor of a historic landmark — an art deco tower designed by architect Timothy L. Pflueger in 1929 — it feels more like a chic living room than a traditional doctor’s office. There is no receptionist. Instead, guests are greeted personally by Campbell or her assistant. Gray wood flooring, a circular marble table, ceramic bud vases, stacks of art and food books, and fog-inspired wallpaper by Geoffrey de Sousa give the office a relaxed but sophisticated vibe. “I’m not trying to be a spa,” Campbell explains. “While I want patients to feel comfortable, like you’re in my living room, ultimately, this is a medical office.”

Campbell is proud of her medical background and is eager to put her vast knowledge to work. She offers cosmetic, medical and surgical services. Although she performs plenty of Botox injections, she trained with the world’s leading expert on lupus and can treat everything from eczema to melanoma. “I don’t love when my patients have melanoma, but it’s amazing when I can catch it and take care of it,” she says. “I took anatomy and then I trained for three years. When I fire a laser onto somebody’s face, I know whether it’s melanoma or a brown spot. Or if they get a complication from something, I know how to treat it.”

There is a refreshingly nostalgic quality to Campbell. She’s like an old-fashioned family doctor — the type who would perform house calls and had patients as friends. She’s straightforward and scientific, but incredibly savvy. Her skin is flawless and there is a luminescent quality to it. She’s also trust-worthy, relatable, and fun — that’s not an adjective normally associated with serious dermatologists.

Another thing that makes her unique? She practices what she preaches. “I have access to all these toys and I try everything I do on my patients on myself,” she says smiling. Experimenting with CoolSculpting, chemical peels and Kybella allows her to better inform patients. “It’s the best way to counsel,” says Campbell, who’s aware of every complication and side effect. “A lot of times I’ll tell my patients, ‘This is what you’re going to be worried about.’ I’m high-maintenance and crazy and worried and ruminate, and if I’ve done it to myself, I know exactly what you’re going through.”

Chubby Noodle Cabo chubbynoodle.com/cabo-san-lucas

Like many other fog-exhausted San Franciscans, high-flying restaurateur Pete Mrabe spends a lot of time in Cabo San Lucas. And with five thriving San Francisco restaurants under his wing, it felt natural to launch Chubby Noodle Cabo, a southern outpost of his popular Marina and North Beach hot spots. Opening an Asian eatery south of the border is no easy feat, and Mrabe imports hard-to-find ingredients like Korean chili paste and miso to use in the kitchen. His team also makes a lot of the items in-house — think egg noodles for the garlic noodle dish — and gets super-fresh fish daily from local fishermen. Unlike the SF location, Chubby Noodle Cabo has a full bar, indulging Mrabe’s interest in clever cocktails.

Obispo 3266 24th St.

Cocktail aficionados have been waiting five years for Thad Vogler’s rum bar, and it’s finally open in the Mission District. You may know Volger from his other establishments, he’s the owner — and frequently behind the bar — of Bar Agricole and Trou Normand. With his new space, he’s hoping to transform the spirits world by serving alcohol that is additive-free and reflective of the place where it’s made. Essentially, Volger wants drinkers to think of rum the way they would wine, and he plans to do this by serving one expertly mixed libation at a time. He also wants to engage guests in a conversation about rum’s history and has partnered with the Museum of the African Diaspora and Calle 24 Community Council — who will receive a portion of Obispo’s proceeds. Bargoers can enjoy mojitos made with stirred mint and raw sugar as well as a short menu of food items typical in rum-making countries like jerk chicken and Cuban sandwiches.

Virgin Hotel 3109, 250 4th St. virginhotels.com/san-francisco

Despite multiple setbacks, the highly anticipated Virgin Hotel is finally open in SoMa. The new hotel has 192 rooms, which are marketed as “chambers,” that are outfitted in modern decor with red accents like miniature Smeg fridges and two penthouses. Virgin Hotels San Francisco, its official name, also has multiple meeting spaces, a library coffee shop, all-day restaurant and rooftop bar. Commons Club, the eatery, is helmed by chef Adrian Garcia and features contemporary California cuisine.

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