San Francisco’s Lombard Street Re-Made

In San Francisco, Lombard Street has long been reguarded as the tacky access road to the Golden Gate Bridge. Famous for its shiny cluster of lit up motor inns and faded store fronts, Lombard Street is in the process of a long awaited face lift.

La Luna Inn is taking action, changing their appearance from the once dreary pastel box to a reinvented 1960s style. The inn has brought in new modern furnishings with a color palette of bright blues and beiges. Rooms from $69 weekdays, $79 on weekends.

Passing La Luna, is the similarly remodeled Hotel del Sol. This hotel has brought in a fresh neew look with a carnival-like motif of colorful pool umbrellas and palm trees. Rooms from $119 weekdays; higher on weekends.

Hime restaurant is also playing a role in the street’s new oimage. This chic sushi restaurant has taken out all the stops to draw in their late night crowd of lawyers and the occasional super-star. Hime’s covered their walls in bamboo, light the bathrooms with candles and import sashimi from Japan.

“George Lucas stopped in here the other day,” said Derek May, the chef at Hime. (Mr. Lucas’s Letterman Digital Arts Center is nearby.) “I think the seediness of all those motels is changing, and so the rest of the street’s changing, too.”

You may also recognize the famous Mel’s Drive-In. The 1960’s styled diner chain was first made famous in “American Graffiti”.

“It’s a weird street,” said Melanie Shain, owner of the recently opened Past Perfect, an antiques shop that sells vintage furnishings, glassware and decorative items. “I never thought I’d see it change.”