The Clancy is a colorful sanctuary on the streets of San Francisco.
Opened in the fury of the pandemic just over a year ago, the Autograph Collection hotel quietly awaits the chance to really show off its shiny new digs to travelers near and far. This moment has finally arrived and I am lucky to be here for it.
In everything from its check-in counter to its rooms, The Clancy cultivates an urban sense of cool pulled straight from the city outside its door. Muni track lines on the floor guide visitors through the lobby and past The Alley graffiti wall, street art sent to SF made from spray paint recycled by locals. artist Ian Ross— and in the Seven Square Taproom, a cozy, sprawling lounge with mid-century modern touches and a sculpted black-and-white backdrop.
A wall of windows in the living room opens onto Block 9, an enclosed outdoor patio named for the hotel’s location on one of the original 10 blocks that formed the city of San Francisco. Decked out with two long communal fire pits and blue and chartreuse wing chairs, and adorned with cafe lights, the courtyard is a sanctuary in the bustle of SoMa. In the Parklet (which isn’t actually a parklet but an event space), there’s a luminous ethereal mural by East Bay juggernaut Hueman.
(Courtesy of The Clancy)
Upstairs, the bedrooms have king and queen beds with oversized white headboards and black and white abstract rugs. Colorful artwork and sofas decorate each space, and in two-room suites, the latter folds out into a bed. Pets are welcome with an additional $150 per stay, and they’re treated like the royalty they are with a bed and robe just for them, locally made treats, and their own Yappy Hour menu to enjoy on the terrace. WiFi in the rooms, unfortunately, costs more.
When I was last there, the hotel was lovely but, apart from its multi-story fortress in the Tenderloin, things were, how can I put it… sketchy. I was pleased to find that The Clancy clearly isn’t plagued with the issues found in other downtown areas – it’s perhaps the most laid-back block in SoMa. Plus, the hotel’s location on Second Street halfway between Oracle Park and the SFMoma makes the rest of the neighborhood and the Embarcadero super accessible.
While there are a number of excellent restaurants (think Marlowe, Rooh, Saison) within walking distance, sometimes all you want from a hotel is delicious on-site food. The Clancy has that.
The Seven Square Taproom is an unassuming place where the food preparation has clearly been carefully thought out. Chef Dawn Taylor-Cole has concocted an array of comfort food with global flavors like mango jerk chicken wings and steak frites with mojo-marinated ground beef, spicy dragon fruit and peppercorn salsa. Fresno.
For dinner I go with the grilled salmon with sautéed bok choy and roasted butternut squash dipped in a spicy miso broth and these are hands down some of the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had, crispy and caramelized with lemon shiso vinaigrette and pickled Fresno peppers. I eat comfortably by the fire on the terrace in block 9 with the sky overhead glowing almost purple with the lights of the SoMa night (food can also be ordered at the lounge, bar or at a stand in the Taproom more traditional dining area). My server is so timely and knowledgeable that I wish I could clone her and offer her abilities to every restaurant in town.
(Courtesy of The Clancy)
Because I can’t decide on dessert, they bring me all three: the silky red velvet mousse cake, the creamy and rich chocolate trio mousse cake, and the banana-anna bread that goes from pedestrian to gourmet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate and caramel.
The drinks menu is plentiful and although I stick to local beer (of which they have £10 on tap) the wine offerings and cocktail menu including craft creations like a smoked maple old-fashioned and a dragon mule with vodka acai blueberry and dragon fruit, are mouth-watering. When I’m ready to retire to my room, they send me off with a smile and a neatly wrapped box of dessert to devour.
In the morning, I expect to be woken by the sounds of the neighborhood coming alive, but my room on the eighth floor stays cool, quiet, and thankfully dark (thanks to the blackout curtains!) until my alarm wakes me up. A little later, still cloudy-eyed, I head to the Radiator Coffee Salon in the lobby, which serves lovely pastries from Craftsman and Wolves and Equator Coffee.
I stay in the living room as long as I can, sipping chai and perusing the day’s news, but like all good things, my stay at the Clancy has an expiration date. I check in 10 seconds flat, then I hit the streets of SoMa and embrace the city with open arms.
// The Clancy, 299 2nd St (SoMa), marriot.com
Artwork by Ian Ross of SF.(Courtesy of The Clancy)