Haute Secrets: Darin Geise’s Guide to SF

Darin Geise
Darin Geise

When San Francisco’s hautest interior designers are in need of a statement chandelier, luxurious couch, or stately desk, there is one place they go—Coup d’Etat. The high-end home goods gallery is owned by design mastermind Darin Geise. For the past 12 years he’s stunned everyone from Kelly Wearstler to Ken Fulk with his unparalleled collection of unique pieces. Every 10 weeks, Geise completely transforms the showroom floor, restocking it with an entirely new set of furniture, artwork, and linens. It’s a revolutionary concept that has changed the way people think of a traditional design showroom. This week, Geise is metamorphosing Coup d’Etat into an art gallery. He’s invited two sensational contemporary artists, Peter Opheim and Harry Siter, to show their work for a special three-day engagement. Since we’re huge fans of Geise, we wanted to get to know more about the man behind the magic. Here, he’s sharing the 411 on his most beloved places in the city by the bay.

Where were you born: In a small Nebraska prairie town, North Platte.  Think Buffalo Bill

How long in San Francisco: 22 years. Thinking about that, that’s sounds like a very long time, but it doesn’t feel that way. That time has flown by!

Neighborhood: Potrero Hill

Occupation:  Owner of Coup d’Etat

Favorite Restaurant: State Bird Provisions is brilliant.  The dim sum concept is amazing. I love the fast pace and the unexpected.

Best Sushi: Omakase at Ichi. Sit at the bar.

Best Italian: My very dear friend, Eugene Anthony’s home. He is the most incredible host and cook. If Eugene invites you to dinner, stop whatever you have planned, and go!

Best dessert: I love street gelato in Florence.

Best place for a romantic date: Quince is seriously extraordinary. They have two Michelin Stars. I don’t understand how they don’t have three.

Best Sunday brunch: My husband makes the best smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, tomato, cucumber, tomatoes and capers. Eating that in bed with him and our girls (dogs) is probably the best way to have brunch for me.

The Battery
The Battery

Best place for a power business meeting: The Battery

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Ritz.  They recently renovated and the rooms are wonderful.

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Coup (duh). I’m really into cooking and love March on Sacramento.  If you’re looking for men’s clothing, Ryan at Barney’s is an expert.

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Buying vintage from auction houses is the way to go.

Best Spa: Ayasofya Hamam or Cagaloglu Haman Istanbul

Favorite Charity Event:  Aids Life Cycle

Favorite Cultural Event: Listening to live music.

Favorite Cultural Institution: MOMA

Best Steakhouse: Alexander’s Steakhouse in SOMA

Best Pizza: Paxti’s Chicago Style Pizza

Best Lunch: Zuni

Coup d'Etat
Coup d’Etat

Best Massage: Suchada Thai Massage

Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber

Best Museum/Exhibit: Savage Beauty Exhibit by Alexander McQueen at the MET

Describe your city in three words: Weird, happening and evolving.

All-around favorite spot in San Francisco:  Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.  I love to go early before the crowds.

Best Aspect of San Francisco: There is an amazing food scene in San Francisco. It’s incredible. I love the freedom in San Francisco. You’re free to do whatever you want to do and be whomever you want to be.