Barbacco, located in San Francisco’s Financial District, is the “sexy little sister” of Perbacco, the acclaimed 2006 Italian restaurant on California Street. Owners Umberto Gibin and chef Staffan Terje saw the need for a more casual option to serve the neighborhood, and when a space next door became available, they engaged CCS Architecture to develop a trattoria that would convert to an enoteca or wine bar at night.
With 66 seats, Barbacco occupies a long, narrow room within the 1912 Hind Building. Inspired by traditional wine bars in Milan and Rome, the space is sleek, urbane and welcoming. A dramatic shaped ceiling, evoking the lines of a sports car, links the higher ceiling at the front of the restaurant with the lower ceiling toward the rear. Forms, detailing, colors and art celebrate Italian culture, cinema, and design. Blurred images of Vespa scooters, wine barrels, sexy Italian screen stars, and motorcycles create a sense of sport and speed.
Barbacco is filled with the flavors of Northern Italy, emanating from the food, but also from the restaurant’s colors, materials and urban attitude. Incorporating some of Perbacco’s DNA, CCS Architecture has created a chic and approachable new gathering spot that is already a destination in its own right.
Photography: Eric Rorer