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The (Re)birth of Cool: A New Alaska Airlines and Other SF Openings

It turns out Sir Richard Branson doesn’t have a monopoly on elevated flying experiences. At a recent unveiling event at SFO’s Terminal 2, the airline showed off its stunning new cabin experience, replete with a refreshed interior color palette, stylish Luly Yang–designed flight crew uniforms, luxury auto-worthy first-class Recaro seats, and the Alaska’s own take on Virgin’s signature ambient mood lighting.

Virgin America devotees once skeptical of the Alaska takeover will find their fears allayed; the new Alaska is arguably even more stylish and guest-focused than the wildly popular Virgin. As the retrofitted Airbuses roll out over the course of 2019, guests will also enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi, power and USB ports at every seat and cleverly designed cup holders throughout first and premium class. “Virgin America started a great legacy,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska’s chief commercial officer. “We are showcasing all the things we’ve been working on to take that legacy forward, but also what Alaska Airlines has brought from being around for 85 years.” Also on tap? A stunning new 8,500-square-foot top-floor lounge at SFO’s Terminal 2, slated to open next year.

Noosh 2001 Fillmore Street

Noosh offerings by Audrey Ma.

A welcome addition to Fillmore’s growing food scene, this new establishment from partners Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz with partner John Litz is both luxurious and casual. The meticulously designed space, complete with candlelit nooks, a lounge and a private dining room, is the epitome of relaxed Mediterranean chic — think arcs, poufs and splashes of turquoise throughout. The dining model, however, is tech-fronted, cashless fast casual: upon entrance, you’ll be greeted by “ambassadors” who will tap your order into tablets to speed the process. Then, once you sit down, the food arrives faster than you can say “muhammara.” The rich, red pepper spread is one of the many must-order items: the Ozyilmazes, who previously worked together at Mourad and at their successful pop-up Istanbul Modern, have crafted a menu honoring the cuisines of Greece, Turkey, Iran, Israel and Armenia. Alongside dips like the house-smoked yogurt, there are satisfying pita sandwiches stuffed with Aleppo chicken or eggplant, kabobs and chopped salads, with a brunch menu in the works. Behind the bar, Beverage Director Andrew Meltzer makes a mean Noosh Mule (with an apple and cardamom-spiced shrub) and serves Armenian teas to those who have to work the next day. Sayat describes the fare as “full of flavor yet accessible California comfort food, with an Eastern Mediterranean inspiration. Nourishing and comforting, family-style.” And now, comfort comes even quicker.

Gorjana 2056 Filmore Street

Fillmore Street has no shortage of clothing boutiques and wellness spots, but the jewelry niche has been waiting to be filled. Enter Gorjana, the Laguna Beach–based jeweler launching its ninth branch in the Pacific Heights retail hot-spot. True to the brand’s SoCal roots, designer Gorjana Reidel creates the kind of skinny, layering-friendly necklaces, delicate earrings and stackable rings that pair nicely with flowing dresses and distressed denim. Materials are mostly gold- or silver-plated brass, with guest appearances by gemstones and items priced between $30 and $200. Understated chic is, of course, second nature to San Francisco. “We find that [the City] offers a perfect juxtaposition of the classic and the eclectic — just like our brand,” says Reidel. “San Francisco is one of our top customer bases and we’re so grateful and excited for the chance to be here and meet our NorCal customers in person!”As with Gorjana’s other locations, the store features welcoming, blushy tones, live plants and very-San-Francisco shibori touches. And, speaking of very San Francisco, the store is planning on hosting activation events, such as in-store engraving.

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