San Francisco Social founder Anderson Pugash was not always as concerned with charity and giving back. It was his late-father's unexpected battle with pancreatic cancer that pushed Pugash to reconsider the kind of life he was leading. His father and mentor, James Pugash, had made a life-long commitment to the support of charitable organizations. "At the time, I couldn’t say the same for myself," writes a young Pugash. "I always thought that I could give back later on, but I abruptly realized that this was not the way to live my life."
And so began The San Francisco Social, a 30-member philanthropic group of young, successful denizens that has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Bay Area charities. Their most recent party, a festive, millennial-drenched bash that raised over $85,000 to help San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center (SF CAPC), furthered their mission.
Pugash has found other ways to leave his mark on the city. He's also the founder of Crossroads Nightlife Group, one of the city’s largest promotion firms. Alongside partners Bruce McDonald and David Brinkley, he created Audio Discotech and Bergerac in SoMa, and is a limited investor in The Tipsy Pig, Aventine, and Louie’s Bar and Grill.
His most recent project, Palm House, showcases seasonal, local, organic produce and meats in such island-inspired dishes as Trinidad-style grilled prawns with coconut curry sauce, while their punch bowls pack a mean punch.
We recently asked Pugash to tell us a bit more about himself:
1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?
I currently live in the Marina, about a block away from my restaurant Palm House. It's remarkably convenient and I love it over here, but I think I'll eventually need a change of scenery.
2. What is your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?
The potato skins at Louie's. It’s a grown up version of a childhood favorite - Pork belly, shiitake mushrooms, quail egg, crema... and I'll have a hoppy IPA with it, please.
3. What's your perfect night on the town?
Tiki drinks at Smuggler's Cove, followed by a solid hi-five from Mayor Ed Lee.
4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?
I go to my mom's house in Marin and have lunch with her, then go swimming in the lagoon. Or I'll go north with a couple buddies and shoot clays.
5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?
Canoeing down the Russian River.
6. Quick-fire round:
Burrito or Burger: Burger
Presidio or Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate all the way.
BiRite or Mitchell's: BiRite
Bike or MUNI: Bike
Fort Mason or Dolores Park: Fort Mason
The Independent or the Fillmore: Slim's
Baker Beach or Ocean Beach: Baker
7. Three words that describe your life in SF?
Everyday I'm Hustlin'.