Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Name: Andrew Freeman

Age: 47

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Occupation: President of Andrew Freeman & Co

Status: Lovelorn

Diva Minds Want to Know…

1. Where do you like to flirt?

The bar at the Grand Café is a perfect place to flirt before or after catching a show at the theater. I conduct a lot of business meetings at Cafe Flore in the Castro—I never know who I’m going to run in to. I’m always in for a surprise! People living in San Francisco are very friendly—when you stop at a red light, look over and you may find some flirting potential for a few moments before the light turns green!

2. Where is your favorite table for two?

As a hospitality and restaurant consultant, I am, of course, partial to my clients. However, I’m lucky to work with some of the best spots to eat and drink in the city. I’d suggest the Fifth Floor at the Hotel Palomar, Sent Sovi in Saratoga or Carneros in Napa. The new Hotel Shattuck Plaza just opened in Berkeley, and they’ll soon be featuring their brand new restaurant, FIVE. It’ll definitely be a hot spot. I also love little neighborhood spots such as Nopalito, Eureka Restaurant and Lounge, and Best-O-Burger.

3. Where should we stay when we visit?

Again, being a hospitality consultant, I’m partial to my hotel clients. I’ve worked with Kimpton for over a decade now, and their hotels are always top notch in service and accommodations. I’d recommend the Hotel Palomar, Hotel Monaco or the Sir Francis Drake. I also love Villa Florence (great location) and Hotel Vertigo. Finally, if you’d like to get away from the craziness of the city but still be within arm’s reach, I’d suggest staying at the brand new Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley. After a $10 million complete renovation, the property is absolutely stunning.

4. What qualities do you find irresistible in a woman?

Good shoes, good lipstick and good hair! A woman should be able to maximize her assets while remaining confident and professional—I tend to be partial to those women who are a bit aggressive as well. I’m free for consultations!

5. Where can we find you on a free Sunday afternoon?

Enjoying a relaxing spa treatment at Nickel Spa (pronounced Nick-ell) in the Castro. The spa is primarily for men, in a fantastic location, and the treatments are unbeatable. You can also always find me parading through Golden Gate Park with my girls/Yorkies, Daisy and Tulip.

6. What do you love most about your hometown (besides our arrival)?

I love the diversity of the people here, the rich culture, and the plethora of restaurants to experience. The San Francisco community is exceptionally open, warm and welcoming, just like the weather and the scenic beauty.

7. What should we bring when we visit? What should we leave with?

You should bring an open mind and attitude because you will most likely see or experience something new and eye-opening! The San Francisco culture can definitely be a feast for the senses, so be sure to bring a big appetite—taking advantage of the culinary culture here is a must! Beware: a lot of visitors end up being transplants, as it’s dangerously easy to fall in love with San Francisco. You should leave with a new diet plan, as I’m sure you will have eaten your way through the city!

8. What do we absolutely have to see while we’re there?

I can’t recommend Beach Blanket Babylon enough….especially since I’ve seen it 10 times! The show is a San Francisco landmark, and the material is always fresh, current and absolutely hilarious. On August 6-9, the largest culinary event to hit California will take place in Union SquareSan Francisco Chefs. Food. Wine. This festival will be larger than life and will feature some of the best culinary talents in the world. I also recommend spending a sunny day at Fisherman’s Wharf, checking out Forbes Island and, if you have a little extra time, taking the ferry to Sausalito. The views from this ride are breathtaking. If you get to Sausalito, be sure to reserve a table at Poggio, one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. On a straight note, I’d suggest catching a game at AT&T Park. The crowds are always fun and the stadium is state-of-the-art.

9. Any areas of town we should avoid?

I’d enter the Tenderloin at your own risk. If you area savvy city traveler, you may be able to safely navigate this part of town. Our straight friends may want to avoid a few of the bars on Folsom Street. However, if you decide to go, be sure to wear something leather, as I doubt you’ll be let in otherwise. I’d avoid calling the city ‘Frisco—you won’t fair well with the locals if you use this term.

10. Any local secrets you want to share?

Rusty Wells’ Yoga class at the Yoga Tree. I’m almost hesitant to share this secret as his classes are phenomenal and getting extremely popular! Straight or gay, I’d suggest hitting up the bars in the Castro for one night—the crowds are always a great mix and you’ll inevitably dance the night away.

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