Large tree trunks form a unique bar and bench at a San Francisco restaurant

Finding a truly unique dining experience can be a challenge, but one San Francisco restaurant has managed to create a rustic oasis right in the heart of the city. The industrial-style Radhaus brewery and restaurant, located in the Fort Mason Bay Area Arts and Cultural Center, has taken creativity to a whole new level by incorporating large tree trunks into its design.

A Fusion of History and Innovation


Envelope A+D, the Berkeley studio behind the project, used a variety of salvaged materials to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. From a screwdriver and drawer knob transformed into beer taps to tree trunks repurposed as a bar and benches, every detail tells a story.

Embracing the Past


The renovation of an Army marine machinery warehouse allowed Envelope A+D to retain the historic details of the space. Exposed steel beams, painted in a bright white hue to match the walls, create a bold visual contrast. The existing polished concrete floors were preserved where possible, and new concrete was seamlessly integrated to create a mosaic effect.

Nature’s Contribution


To bring a touch of nature into the urban environment, the design team incorporated large tree trunks into the space. These impressive wooden blocks were salvaged from windblown Ponderosa pines in the Western Sierras and repurposed into a unique bar and dining table. Evan Sheelsey, a tree expert who works for timber supplier Arborica, masterfully crafted the wooden benches.

A Playful Atmosphere


Adding a playful touch to the restaurant, the beer taps were designed using found objects such as a screwdriver, a drawer knob, and a pipe. This unique feature is a nod to the droog aesthetic, which embraces the use of found elements. The result is a charming combination of rustic and industrial elements.

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A Functional Work of Art


The centerpiece of the restaurant is the “beer frame,” a structure covered in white brick that provides cooling for the beer kegs. This functional piece also serves as the back bar, displaying a variety of faucets that can be adjusted to match the menu. Each faucet handle is uniquely crafted from found objects, adding to the playful and creative vibe.

Preservation and Adaptation


Preserving the historic facade and roof while adapting the space to meet modern needs was a challenge that the design team successfully tackled. The kitchen’s mechanical equipment, range hood, and refrigerator were cleverly housed inside a large white storage structure, designed by Envelope A+D. This structure pays homage to the makeshift offices and storage spaces commonly found in large bay structures.

The Antique Look


The gabled block that houses the restaurant spans three floors. The ground floor kitchen is adorned with matte black textured ceramic tiles, while the second floor is dedicated to warehouse and office space. The third floor accommodates mechanical equipment and air conditioning. The simple details and “real painted wood” give the entire space an antique look.

A Taste of Innovation


The Radhaus brewery and restaurant is a testament to the fusion of history and innovation. By creatively repurposing salvaged materials, Envelope A+D has transformed this former military base into a captivating destination. So, if you’re seeking a dining experience that combines excellent food with a unique ambiance, this rustic oasis in San Francisco is certainly worth a visit.

Image by Matthew Millman.