Don’t Haight Your ‘Hood


Photography by Iris Lin

Philipp Minnig—the Mick Jagger-like pouty-lipped lead singer of electro-disco group Sugar & Gold—has lived in the multicultural artist community of the Lower Haight for the past 10 years. Minnig, a San Franciscan by way of Germany, has found both boundless fun and musical inspiration in his ’hood. If you don’t believe me, just listen to “Neighborhood,” the uber-danceable track off their sexy soul-infused debut album Crème, and you’ll get the idea. This week I spent a surreal evening with the musician checking out his favorite neighborhood nightspots. Here’s a list of Philipp’s seven favorite Lower Haight nightlife haunts:

  1. Naked Eye News & Video 607 Haight St., 415-864-2985
“This movie rental store is the best place to become an instant cinemaphile while waiting for a table at popular neighborhood restaurant RNM. Steve the owner is a walking movie encylopedia and an all-around great guy.”

Chillin' at Naked Eye

Philipp with Steve, owner of Naked Eye

2. Café International 508 Haight St., 414-522-7390
 “In the evening, this café doubles as a venue for local poets and musicians bringing everyone from the  community together.”

3. Noc Noc 557 Haight St., 415-861-5811
“The unusual décor of this cavernous dive reminds me of the bar in Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. Noc Noc is the best place to mingle with local artists and musicians while enjoying a beer on tap or sake.”

Gettin' sassy with some sake

Noc Noc is Sugar & Gold approved

4. Peacock Lounge 552 Haight St., 415-621-9850
“This neighborhood nightspot is host to off-the-hook psychedelic dance parties and other fun nighttime activities. A little known fact about this venue is that it’s owned by local Free Masons who chaperone and bartend the events.”

5. O’Looney’s Market 588 Haight St., 415-626-4431
“I come to this graffiti-adorned corner store to stock up on necessary supplies for cocktail parties and catch up on world politics with the owners.”

Philipp helping out at O'Looney's

6. Love N Haight 533 Haight St., 415-252-8180 
“This vegetarian restaurant is open late and offers veggie meat sandwiches like the scary-sounding but tasty veggie duck.”

7. Rosamunde Sausage Grill 545 Haight St., 415-437-6851
“This gourmet sausage shop is a great place to have a quick dinner before a proper night of Haight bar hopping.”

Philipp enjoying a pickle in style at Rosamunde

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