Architectural Digest, July 2017
Ken Fulk Designed Tyler Florence’s New Sequoia Cocktail Club

Chef Tyler Florence’s new lounge, the Sequoia, set above his celebrated Financial District eatery Wayfare Tavern, provides the San Francisco private club experience but without the exclusive (and expensive) membership that usually goes with it. You need only find the secret street-level entrance (hint: Look for the understated plaque next to the restaurant) and ride the elevator to the fourth floor of the 1907 building to step into another era, where leopard-print carpets, custom game tables, and antique-silk-fringed lampshades recall a 1930s speakeasy vibe. A vaulted skylight provides a striking first view of the city’s iconic TransAmerica Pyramid and skyline beyond, but the Sequoia’s standout feature is its bank vault turned whiskey vault, a leftover from when Wells Fargo moved in following the 1906 earthquake that razed much of the city. Number 558 Sacramento was also destroyed but was rebuilt within the year using the bricks littering the street, and with a new addition—the bank’s temporary vault while the company rebuilt its branch next door. Florence and interior designer Ken Fulk—already friends and both fans of a good story—decided that since they had inherited the vault, it was only right to celebrate it. “We considered that if we were building a proper gentlemen’s bar, what’s the currency? In this place, the most valued currency isn’t cash or bullion—it’s whiskey,” says Fulk.

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