Known for his luxurious casual living spaces, Jay Jeffers is one of San Francisco’s most sought after interior designers. He founded his firm, the Jeffers Design Group, 16 years ago, launched a treasure trove of a retail shop, the Cavalier by Jay Jeffers, in the Tenderloin three years ago, and last year his first book, Jay Jeffers: Collected Cool: The Art of Bold, Stylish Interiors, was published. A gentleman about town, Jeffers specializes in juxtaposion. He effortlessly combines vintage and modern pieces; splurges on high furniture and scores on low flea market finds; layers on color, but strips away unnecessary excess; and creates rooms that are comfortable and easy, yet sumptuous and sparkly. Jeffers is also a master or print, pattern, and vibrant hues. Since we can’t get enough of this design maestro’s interiors, we couldn’t help but wonder: when it comes to a Friday night on the town, what would Jay do? Here, Jeffers shares his top spots for sushi, pizza, and more in San Francisco.
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Years in SF: 22
Hood you call home: Mid Market. (I feel truly San Franciscan every night as the windows in my apartment face directly on City Hall. I feel a little bit like I’m in Paris, which I love of course!)
Favorite restaurant: It’s a toss up between Bar Jules, Zuni (my first job in SF 22 years ago) and Cotogna. In addition to good food, the atmosphere feels both chic and local.
Best sushi: Zushi Puzzle (at the counter, chef’s choice).
Best Italian: Cotogna
Best dessert: I was so happy that Marlowe kept the Vacheron (originally from Bizou) when they moved into their new space. Honestly, the best dessert I have ever had. And I’ve had a lot of dessert.
Best place for a romantic date: Frascati. This little jewel makes you want to hold hands across the table.
Best Sunday brunch: Foreign Cinema (home made poptarts okay!)
Best steakhouse: Press in St. Helena
Best pizza: My favorite is Rose’s on Union Street, which isn’t really a pizza joint, but the pizza is so damn good!
Best lunch: Cotogna, The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus, Zuni
Best place for cocktails: Spruce
Hotel you recommend to visiting out-of-towners: St. Regis San Francisco
Best Spa: Spa Radiance
Best Salon: I prefer saloons! (okay, I admit I stole that answer from Trevor Traina, but it is worth repeating)
Favorite Charity Event: I love Private Collections – a great opportunity to see and hear about amazing art collections in the city.
Favorite Cultural Event: I took a few years off, but have attended SF’s Gay Pride parade for many years. I live right next to City Hall and last year for the entire weekend, I would be out walking the dog or on my way to an appointment and see lines of gay couples getting married at City Hall. I basically could not walk out my door without tearing up. This is a pretty magical City where acceptance is concerned.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: DIAKADI Personal Training Gym – My home every Tuesday and Thursday morning for over 10 years.
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber
Best Museum/Exhibit: The unbelievable video installation by David Hockney at the de Young last year still fills my memory with beauty. Incredible.
Favorite park: Crissy Field
Best place to enjoy a view of city: Hiking in the Marin Headlands
Favorite touristy place: The Ferry Building is an amazing place for tourists and locals alike.
Place where you always take visitors: If it is a first time to SF, either Crissy Field or over to the Marin Headlands to look back at the Golden Gate Bridge and city.
Favorite weekend getaway, within driving distance: We have a home in St. Helena, so every chance we get, we are over the Golden Gate Bridge (though by map going through the East Bay is faster, the drive up 101 and through Sonoma is magical) and off to the Napa Valley. Even a little 2 day weekend is enough time to recharge and relax.
All-around favorite locale in San Francisco, whether a neighborhood, restaurant, venue, or other: Zuni Café was my first job in SF in 1993. It was an amazing place then and remains the same today. That place is San Francisco. Period. It is hip and cool, accepting of all, diverse, interesting and fabulous all at once – and that is just the people watching. Not to mention the best cosmo (don’t judge until you’ve tried it!), margarita, bloody mary, gnocchi, roast chicken you’ve ever had in your entire life!
Best aspect of living in sf: San Francisco, in comparison, is really a small town. It is stunningly beautiful, with friendly people and a great respect for the arts. The small town aspect means you have to get out of town once in a while – whether it be weekends or longer trips. But one of my favorite parts of traveling is that is San Francisco is the most glorious place to come home to!