Neighborhood Guide: Rancho Santa Fe | Neighborhoods


Historic Rancho Santa Fe features original Spanish Colonial-style architecture by Lilian J. Rice from the 1920s and 1930s

With more banks than bars, “The Ranch” was never a destination. But, like the rest of North County, there’s never been a time like now. Retailers are leaving the coast for indoor spaces, while an upcoming market and restaurant concept could claim the title of the Ranch’s first rooftop.

“Clients will get that sense of privacy and privacy,” says Matt Powers, owner of the proposed two-story project, New Francisco. “Bill Gates can come here. No problem.”

Rancho Santa Fe - Amy Meier

International design star Amy Meier holds court in her showroom and studio.

Design stars

With an international clientele, Amy Meier is both dean and ambassador of design. Its eponymous corner space is both a studio and a retail store, with

an approved selection of antiques, art and capsule collections (Hartmann & Forbes, Casey Johnson Studio). Meier’s exacting formula of antique/modern has its source here, but translates it for design destinations like Palm Beach, Palmetto Bluff and La Jolla.

Rancho Santa Fe - Thyme on the Ranch

The Thyme Garden at the Ranch Café.

“There has been a gradual but tangible shift in the energy of the Ranch,” says Meier, who is neighbor to the venerable Ranch thyme Coffee. “What was once a sleepy retirement village has slowly transformed into a vibrant community of families, young and old.”

Rancho Santa Fe - Zofia Day

Zofia Day Jewelry is sunlight and Gucci wallpaper

Around the corner, a jewelry box is waiting to be discovered. Lisette Polny, founder of Zofia day jewelry, created her dream boutique, bathed in natural light and Gucci’s New Flora wallpaper. Here, clients and brides stock up on fine jewelry and reinvent heirlooms under Polny’s watchful eye. Earlier this year, she fled her 101 showroom in Leucadia for something less cluttered.

“There’s a lot to be desired in this little downtown area,” she says. “I am surrounded by beauty.”

body of work

Rancho Santa Fe Hair Salon

Rancho Santa Fe Barber Shop Salon is part of the next generation

Hairstylist Roger Tuttle of Model Call Salon fame recently made his debut Iris Lounge in a secret garden. Meanwhile, top braider Carly Saturnino is opening a second location of Vogh Hairboasting very glamorous interiors by a. Naber Design. Even the Rancho Santa Fe Hair Salon has a new vibe thanks to Dan Lara passing his scissors to 28-year-old stylist Juleah Roll.

Saturdays, meanwhile, are all about other shiny things. Being-seen Cars & Coffee is held every Saturday from 8am to 11am at the intersection of Paseo Delicias and Avenida de Acacias with a range of vintage and luxury autos.

A place in time

Rancho Santa Fe Statue - Lilian J Rice

A new statue of the late architect Lilian J. Rice pays tribute to her impact

Architect Lilian J.Rice remains a central figure here, both historically and figuratively. A new life-size statue, sculpted by local artist Nina de Burgh, further reinforces her legacy. Rice was a pioneer and protege of Irving Gill when she had the opportunity to design the Rancho Santa Fe Civic Center. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford. Women weren’t invited to many tables back then, so Rice designed a few.

Today, 11 of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 1923 Francisco Building where Australian restorer Matt Powers plans to open Commercial space. This will be the fourth location for his popular cafe/market concept after Leighton Beach, Australia; Lefkada; and the upcoming La Jolla Shores.

Neighborhood Guide - New Francisco

New Francisco’s future home in the Rice-designed building from 1923

Powers says he will honor Rice by bringing his dialogue into a new era. The second-story roof will offer views of the surrounding landscape and the mountains that she has worked so hard to maintain.


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