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Interior design star Ken Fulk nabs prestigious food award nomination

He’s been recognized with a James Beard Award honor for his work on Leo’s Oyster Bar

Photos by Patricia Chang

When one thinks Ken Fulk, one doesn’t typically think food. But the San Francisco- designer, noted for his residential and hotel decors, also waves his wand inside restaurant spaces. Most notably, Fulk conceived the looks of the Cavalier and its private backroom, Marianne’s.

Today, Fulk nabbed a 2017 James Beard Award nomination for Best Restaurant Design for his work at Leo’s Oyster Bar. In a look the designer describes as “1950s Beverly Hills meets Manhattan club,” the Financial District seafood eatery is a whirlwind of tropical delights (the botanical wallpaper is nothing short of glorious) mixed with midcentury-modern grace.

Opening in January of 2016, Eater SF described it thusly.

A trip all the way back to the 1950s when businesswomen and men stopped their days for a liquid lunch, had garden parties chock full of liquor and made it rain with luxe food and drink. Inside Leo's, ferns hang from the ceiling, the bar glows gold and splashy colors dominate the space. It’s a total breath of fresh air in an area more suited to takeout lunch and IPAs.

The space also features a pink onyx bar, rattan furnishing, signature brass fixtures, metallic leather banquettes, and terra-cotta tile floors. Mercifully, neither reclaimed wood nor communal tables are anywhere to be found.

AvroKo will duke it out with Fulk for the James Beard honor. The San Francisco-based firm was nominated in the same category for their work on Single Thread in Healdsburg.