The corner of Polk St. and Broadway St. in San Francisco has been home to a variety of different businesses. The “baby boomers” will remember it as Henry Africa’s and the “dot comers” celebrated here when it was known as “Johnny loves”.The current and longest standing operators of this prime real estate are both native San Franciscans who grew up and went to high school in this great city and have operated successful businesses to this day. Since 2002, today’s generation has called this place Rouge and Nick’s Crispy Tacos. Our story began when Rouge Lounge was looking for someone to provide food at their location and met a family looking for a place to serve their delicious eats in. One thing led to another and both groups found what they were looking for.
Making use of a space that sat dark for most of the day until Rouge opened in the evening, was a fairly new trend, and with rents as high as they are in San Francisco, sharing the space was a win win for both businesses. Granted, it was hard to envision a taqueria in a high-end nightclub, but people slowly started to appreciate the quirkiness of it all. A taco joint with a full bar filled a niche in a neighborhood practically void of good quality Mexican eats.
The food and drinks spoke for themselves – people really appreciated the high quality ingredients, and combined with reggae music, a mirror ball, and a sky full of chandeliers – the place was soon a hit. Over the last 10 years, Rouge Lounge and Nick’s Crispy Tacos have become an institution for neighborhood locals as well as visitors to San Francisco. People all over the bay make the pilgrimage to grab the unusual atmosphere, finger licking cheap eats, and indulge in the full bar offering the best happy hour this side of the border.
As times change so do peoples’ desires and that is what has driven us to adapt. We have gone from being just a club at night with a daytime restaurant to a joint venture, working together to create an environment that has something for everyone; we are great for all ages and all types of people. Whether you are looking to grab a quick bite or to hang out, have a few drinks and watch a game on any of the 6 plasma televisions, you are bound to leave here satisfied. The relationship between Nick’s Crispy Tacos and Rouge has evolved over the years and has created a neighborhood lounge with a reputation for good eats, good drinks and an overall good time