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Finding Fillmore


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Photograph by Frankie Frankeny

Music lovers surely know that Yoshi’s, Oakland’s famed jazz club, has opened a second location on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. What they may not know is that the Fillmore district, a historically and culturally rich area that encompasses parts of the Western Addition, Japantown, and lower Pacific Heights, has become a destination unto itself, offering many new art, music, and dining hot spots.

Yoshi's
Yoshi's
Photograph by Frankie Fankeny

It’s appropriate that Yoshi’s is the harbinger of the neighborhood’s revitalization, given that lower Fillmore Street may be best known for its jazz history. The new venue, at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy, will look familiar to those who have frequented its Oakland progenitor, although the theater is larger and the adjoining sushi restaurant is even more sleek and polished. 1330 Fillmore St., (415) 655-5600, www.yoshis.com.

In Japantown, the newly renovated Sundance Kabuki multiplex offers cineastes the ultimate art house experience. The theater complex features a café and two bars, one that serves cocktails and light gourmet fare in the balcony of one of the theaters.

You pay up to $3 extra per ticket for the European-style privilege of reserving your seat and not having to endure premovie commercials. The Kabuki hosts the San Francisco International Film Festival and advance screenings throughout the year. 1881 Post St., (415) 929-4650, www.sundancecinemas.com.

Hotel Kabuki
Courtesy of JDV Hotels
The neighborhood’s other hot new restaurant is SPQR, from the same team that created the Marina’s A16. SPQR serves rustic Italian appetizers, pastas, and main courses in a bustling trattoria-style setting. 1911 Fillmore St., (415) 771-7779, www.spqrsf.com.

If you don’t want to drive back to the East Bay after a late night on Fillmore, you can check out the two Japantown hotels that have been renovated in recent months. The more affordable Hotel Tomo is a paradise for fans of Japanese pop culture, with manga- and anime-inspired decor in the lobby and guest rooms. The Hotel Kabuki offers a more elegant East Asian experience, especially in the deluxe rooms and suites, which feature two-foot-deep Japanese soaking tubs. Hotel Tomo, 1800 Sutter St., (415) 921-4000; Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St., San Francisco, (415) 922-3200, www.jdvhotels.com.

Hotel Tomo
Courtesy of JDV Hotels


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