The San Francisco Realtors’ Exchange aka SF Rex is dedicated to networking for the Bay Area Commercial Real Estate crowd. Held one night a month, this mixer style networking event is a cross between a networking meeting, power lunch, and frat party. Some of the events have keynote speakers imparting industry pertinent information, while the majority of the events are simply cool cocktail parties to let your hair down and meet your contemporaries.
Last night’s event, as reported to me through a business associate, was held at a interesting new bar called the Ambassador at 673 Geary St. The Ambassador is located in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco; today Nob Hill, a very historic and important area to San Francisco’s rise to metropolitan status, is a divided camp.
Upper Nob Hill (Snob Hill to San Franciscans under 50) is where old San Francisco money resides in all it’s glory and gluttony. Tone old residential buildings, audacious architectural monuments to the “Big 4“, and Hotel “Giants” dominate the landscape. A sort of Doris Day playground for the crowd still pissed off smoking is not allowed in restaurants, white gloves are not worn by all women, and brown alcohol is no longer the order of choice.
Lower Nob Hill (Glob Hill to me for the possibilities of things you might step in on the streets) is part of the notorious Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The Tenderloin has a long history of prostitution, flop houses, drug dealing and taking, murder, mayhem, and the general stuff every big city attempts to hide–it’s our crazy uncle we never want to invite to dinner.
Consequently the Ambassador bar resides in “crazy uncle” territory. The bar itself is a retro throwback to the “Rat Pack” era and a tribute to everything Frank, Deano, Sammy, and Peter. From the chandeliers, high boy leather booths, dark interior wood and lighting, you get the feeling the coppers are going to bust into the joint and yell “This is a Raid.” It is quaint, cozy and cool in many ways.
The biggest kick is that each table in the place has a private phone. For all of you chicken wallflowers this is a perfect method of inquiring about a certain someone without leaving your seat. How it might work in networking remains a mystery.
The event itself is very effective for Commercial professionals looking to make new contacts with developers, property managers, leasing agents, office movers, investment analysts, shopping mall developers, title insurance agents, and real estate affiliates servicing the Commercial space.