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Feast Your Eyes

San Francisco-based creative maestro Ken Fulk is the magician behind a cross-country experiential eatery movement.


Ken Fulk-designed Swan and Bar Bevy in Miami’s Design District.

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Carbone in Las Vegas at Aria.

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Leo’s Oyster Bar in the financial district.

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Leo’s Oyster Bar in the financial district.

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“I’m a culture creature,” says multihyphenate Ken Fulk, who is regarded as San Francisco’s “Emperor of Entertaining.” “I go out nearly every night.” Working out of his office, dubbed The Magic Factory, a 15,000-square-foot think tank, Fulk has become the man to call for cinematic-style interior design, architecture and special events. In the eight years since opening acclaimed American bistro Marlowe, he’s added branding buzzy restaurants to that list. “Each restaurant has a point of view that truly transports,” he says, noting the differences among his hometown creations: tropicana-themed Leo’s Oyster Bar; British-inspired brasserie The Cavalier; and Marianne’s, which plays on vintage rock ’n’ roll vibes. “It isn’t just about the food or the drink,” he says. “There’s always a narrative. We work on every detail, from naming the restaurant to designing the menus and uniforms.”

This winter, Fulk’s flair jolts Miami’s Design District with a dining concept in collaboration with South Florida hospitality mogul David Grutman, singer-producer Pharrell Williams and Top Chef winner Jean Imbert. The 250-seat restaurant “was inspired by the beautiful women who inhabit the area,” Fulk says. “Channeling my inner Truman Capote, I called it Swan and Bar Bevy.” Also this season, Fulk swings open doors to a decadent Las Vegas outpost of New York City caviar-and-bagel bar Sadelle’s (Sin City is also home to New York-based Carbone’s second address designed by Fulk) and Felix Roasting Co., a grand European coffee bar. When asked how he keeps masterminding thematic magic, Fulk says: “We are good at restaurants because we are storytellers.”


Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco 

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