BoozeSan Francisco

Noc Noc. Who’s There?


I’m not exactly sure what it is about the Noc-Noc that makes me black out every time I go there. Well, not all the way (since they don’t serve Fernet Branca) but, pretty close to it. Maybe it’s the toxic mix of I.P.A. and hot Sake just before the bar closes. Maybe it’s the psychedelic-looking-cave-like interior. Maybe it’s the awesome bartenders that keep the drinks flowing. At any rate, the Noc Noc in Lower Haight has been one of my favorite bars for years.

The bar is small, dark and almost has a creepy vibe to it. I guess that comes from the trippy-tribal paintings on the walls of the semi-nasty, unisex bathrooms. The claustrophobic feeling that overcomes you when it gets crowded and some eerie industrial, ambient music is playing doesn’t really help either. They fact that they don’t serve hard liquor may be a turn-off to some people – but Sake suffices in times of desperation.

The Noc Noc has been a legendary bar in San Francisco since 1986. Founder Ernest Takal explains what Noc Noc means… “NOCTURNAL NOCTURNE….NOC NOC FOR THE NIGHT…. MUSIC FOR THE NIGHT PEOPLE… NOC NOC was the most important project I did in MY LIFE.”

Whatever that means, the place is fun and always full of interesting characters. They have $3 beers at Happy Hour every Monday-Thursday from 5-7 p.m. And get this…Happy Hour runs from 3-7 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. Drop in and chat with my favorite bartender Christine on Sunday nights, otherwise – the charming Samson will be happy to entertain you the rest of the week.


Noc Noc
557 Haight Street (between Fillmore and Steiner)
[Lower Haight]



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Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.