Richard Branson Throws Lavish Party To Celebrate New Hotel

Sir Richard Branson arrives at the party

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Sir Richard Branson’s latest project is now open for business in San Francisco’s SOMA district. Virgin Hotels San Francisco is the second hotel from the aviation entrepreneur’s lifestyle brand, Virgin Hotels. The first hotel debuted in Chicago in 2015 to much acclaim, and Branson has plans to expand to other major markets—Dallas, Nashville, New York City, etc. The 12-story hotel sits across the street from the Yerba Buena Gardens and is steps away from the recently remodeled Moscone Center.

Commons Club

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels San Francisco

While it’s sure to attract plenty of visitors, Virgin is also planning to engage with locals actively. The heartbeat of the hotel is a flashy new restaurant, Commons Club, helmed by chef Adrian Garcia who formerly worked at Benu and Quince. The stunning restaurant has super high, loft-style ceilings, massive windows with red velvet curtains, and a bar that fills up the entire space. Virgin Hotels San Francisco is also home to an exciting rooftop bar, Everdene, a cafe that serves fair trade coffee, Funny Library Coffee Shop, and several other spaces ideal for private events.

Lance Bass, Michael Turchin and Ashlee Simpson

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Last Thursday night, an invite-only list of celebrities and locals took over the entire hotel at the official opening party. Drag queens and Branson impersonators mixed and mingled before Branson showed up in a Burning Man Art Car. Ashlee Simpson Ross, Lance Bass, Dave Chappelle, and Ryan Cabrera were flown from LA to SF to attend the event. The Moet & Chandon flowed, and guests enjoyed caviar with blinis, fresh-rolled sushi, and decadent cheese puffs.

Sir Richard Branson and Raul Leal

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

“San Francisco holds a special place in my heart, and I am so thrilled to be here celebrating the opening of the beautiful Virgin Hotels San Francisco,” Branson said at the party. “Virgin has made a lot of great friends and loyal customers here on the West Coast, and I’m excited to showcase a new way to experience the Virgin brand. Raul Leal and his amazing team at Virgin Hotels have created something truly special in this dynamic and vibrant city. And they sure know how to throw one hell of a party!”

Alexandra Richards

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Although the rooms were not open to the revelers, guests got to check out Branson’s suite: the photo booth was set up inside the sleek and compact chamber. Haim, SimiHaze, Alexandra Richards, and DJ Sober provided the musical sets for the rollicking party that went into the wee hours of the night.

Everdene

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels San Francisco

Jonathan Goldsmith

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Ryan Cabrera

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

A chamber at the hotel

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels San Francisco

DJ Sober

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The entrance

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Michael Birch, Jorelle Michael Jones and Xochi Birch

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Tyler Florence and Josh Siegel

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Ashlee Simpson, Evan Ross, Ryan Cabrera, Tatiana Velasquez, Daniel Sepulveda, Jason Felts, Michael Turchin and Lance Bass

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Ruby Red Monroe and Delilah Befierce

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

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