PR Maven Claudia Ross Shares Her Haute Secrets

Claudia Ross at the Shreve & Co. opening party in December
Claudia Ross at the Shreve & Co. opening party in December

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Claudia Ross is one of the Bay Area’s most well known and stylish publicists. For the past 12 years, as the principal and founder of Cross Marketing PR, she has opened restaurants and boutiques, helped build local companies, and hosted charitable events. Ross’s background in fashion advertising has allowed her to succeed as a liaison and representative of brands like Shreve & Co., Banana Republic, and Harper’s Bazaar. Philanthropy is a big part of her life—she is a chair emeritus at Raphael House—and earlier today she took to Instagram to encourage her followers to give back to the American Civil Liberties Union, Inc. “For all you out there complaining and posting I challenge you #givetochange #ittakesmoney to make a change. #givewhatyoucan,” she said. She and her husband are high school sweethearts and the couple have two active teenage sons who ensure that mom surfs, skis, and horseback rides frequently. A women about town who is in the know, we reached out to Ross to learn what she loves most about her life in San Francisco.

Where were you born:  I was born in sunny Los Angeles, but moved up north when my parents did their masters at Berkeley.

How long in San Francisco:  I’ve been living and working in San Francisco since 1993.

Neighborhood:  Pacific Heights and Union Square

Occupation: Founder of Cross Marketing PR & CEO of The Ross household.

A seafood platter at Leo's Oyster Bar
A seafood platter at Leo’s Oyster Bar

Favorite Restaurant: My favorite restaurant is Leo’s Oyster Bar. Although I’m allergic to shellfish, the tea leaf salad with tuna is amazing and of course I can never get enough of the Osetra bites.

Best sushi: I love Juni Sushi. It’s small and intimate, plus the Omakase menu is always special. With only two seatings, every opportunity to dine there is a special occasion.

Best Italian: I always love Cotogna—an evening at a gorgeous restaurant in a gorgeous neighborhood can’t be beat.

Best dessert: Rose Macarons have got to be my go-to. I love the ones from Chantal Guillon.

Best place for a romantic date:  For the best romantic date location, I would have to say the bay.  We have a boat docked in the marina by AT&T Park and an afternoon ride around the bay with wine, cheese, and my husband is probably the most romantic date ever. There is no other place I would rather be.

Best Sunday brunch: My favorite Sunday brunch has to be Park Tavern. Best bloody Maria and avocado toast. It reminds me of my favorite place in New York, Gitane.

Best place for a power business meeting: The best place for power meetings is my office.  With a spectacular view of Coit Tower, it never ceases to impress. I also love the Battery these days; you always run into friends and colleagues.

Elizabeth Charles
Elizabeth Charles

Favorite shopping venue/boutique:  It’s easy for me to find the perfect outfit at Elizabeth Charles on Fillmore. From daytime looks to evening, Elizabeth always curates the most special items.

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?  With out of town guests, we recommend Campton Place. The service and staff are amazing and thoughtful always.

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches:  The only place to purchase jewelry and watches is Shreve & Co. My whole family has always purchased all our important timepieces from the jeweler. Shreve & Co.’s jewelry collection is extraordinary. From my engagement ring to my new diamond studs, Shreve & Co. has it all. Their vintage collection is so unique and diverse that I always select something that I know will be loved by the next generation.

Best spa: The best spa is Epi MedSpa. I’ve worked with Margaret Mitchell for years and they are the only ones who were able to keep my skin looking radiant.

Favorite charity event: My favorite charitable organization and event has to be Raphael House and its yearly gala. I’ve been part of the organization for almost 20 years and have watched it become the largest and most successful homeless shelter in San Francisco.

Favorite cultural event: The Modern Ball is something I look forward to year after year, especially with the stunning new SFMOMA.

Favorite cultural institution: SFMOMA with its spectacular expanded collection.

Best steakhouse: Alexander’s Steakhouse—great food, but never taken too seriously.

Best pizza: My favorite pizza place has to be Piccino. In Dog Patch, Piccino has perfected the thin-crust pizza that makes you not want to share!


Claudia Ross and her sons at the Holiday Heroes event in December
Claudia Ross and her sons at the Holiday Heroes event in December

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Best lunch: Darwin Café in Soma is perfect for a quick bite.

Best gym/athletic facility: The best place to get my butt kicked in San Francisco is Barry’s Boot Camp. When Adam Shane decided to open in San Francisco, I couldn’t wait. Great workout and the trainers are beyond committed to their classes.

Best massage: For massages, I’ve been using the Soothe App. On demand, wherever I am.

Best limousine/driving service:  I love working with Bauers and use Lyft for everyday travels.

Best museum/exhibit: The Oscar de la Renta Exhibition at the De Young: his most beautiful works all in one space?! It was breathtaking.

Describe your city in three words: Diverse, intimate, and beautiful.

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The walk along Sutro Baths and Lands End.

All-around favorite spot in San Francisco:  I’ve always loved walking to the bridge and back by the Marina Green. It’s the most beautiful walk in the whole city and the dogs love it too!

Best aspect of San Francisco: The feel of a small neighborhood with all the aspects of a big city.