Brex Lounge & South Park Café

Gensler designed Brex Lounge & South Park Café to share a similar design language that reinterprets the past to create a revitalized restaurant and intimate new lounge in the city.

  • area / size 3,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • South Park has become an epicenter for tech and startups in San Francisco. But the oval shaped park and surrounding neighborhood has a deeper story that extends beyond the large industrial spaces and recent influx of new tenants. The South Park Café embodies this story, originally opened in 1985. Its namesake park was modeled after a square in London, with a curved line of buildings that give the street and park their urban character. As a nod to the park’s form, the café was designed with oval detailing and an open street frontage that encourages visitors to take a second look.

    The Café design centers on local builders and craftsmanship. From the inset oval millwork and continuous bar to custom seating made in the Mission district, the café reopened to the public through the work of San Francisco’s artisans. The interior features custom floor tiles, repurposed light fixtures, wooden accents, and original storefront windows. Celebrating food culture, the café was designed to be a cultural moment within SoMa and the larger surrounding neighborhood.

    Upstairs, furniture organizes the casual lounge and private event space with a similar material palette. Brex was founded to provide startup entrepreneurs access to credit that’s designed specifically for founders. With a software platform made without the restrictions of legacy technology, the company creates a more consolidated understanding of finance. Reflecting this integrated approach, the lounge is designed for startup founders to meet, relax and conduct business.

    Brex is rebuilding financial products from scratch for startups of all sizes, and so too is the South Park Café reopening a rebuilding effort that emphasizes the details.

    Design: Gensler
    Design Team: Kelly Waters, Jacqueline McCoy, Brian Stromquist, Eddy Joaquim, Gervais Tompkin
    Photography: Jason O’Rear