The Butler and the Chef Antiques is a spot in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood where one can find treasures that once belonged in France. No need to travel to the famous flea markets of Paris, or to research the best-kept secrets when it comes to antique dealers while there, Laurent Philippe has the bar and bistro furniture, along with everything else you might not yet realize you need, right here on Harrison Street. A destination for collectors, interior designers, architects, and restaurant and bar owners since 1998, The Butler and the Chef is touting its wares to the public.
Philippe brings the products directly from France to The Butler and the Chef showroom. His is one of just a handful of brick-and-mortar antique stores still in operation and thriving in the city. The distinctive and recently reimagined selection of rare pieces and one-of-a-kind treasures he finds are appealing to new markets. In particular the millennial searching for authenticity in home décor.
“You can only truly appreciate the age and beauty of the antiques, and the stories within their structures, by inspecting them yourself,” Philippe says. “This is what we’re finding is appealing to this new market – an authenticity and real connection with home goods that you can’t find in new designs.”
Those pieces include rarities such as art deco and art nouveau bars and bar backs, 20th-century butcher blocks, 19th-century horses from Parisian carousels and a handmade 1/1000th scale true replica of the Eiffel Tower complete with elevator.
Philippe is excited to see a new generation rediscovering and appreciating the artistic quality of antiques in home design. “We are seeing more and more people, especially young people, looking for authenticity to give their homes an inimitable touch,” he says. “The millennial generation has shown a penchant for embracing the past in new ways. Seeing how these new clients use our pieces in their homes keeps us on the lookout with a forward-thinking attitude toward our own approach.”
The Butler and the Chef is located at 1118 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94130; telephone 415-626-9600. Hours: Monday thru Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 11 am to 4 pm, closed on Sundays