Updates On 5 Year-End Lower Haight Mysteries

Updates On 5 Year-End Lower Haight MysteriesPhoto: Reader Shanna M. 
Andrew Dudley
Published on December 23, 2015

Recently, we've received a lot of requests for updates on some of the most tantalizing unanswered questions of the Lower Haight. So, without further ado, here are our answers to the top five.

Photo: Andrew Dudley / Hoodline

"What happened to the family that ran Cuco's? Are they opening a new restaurant somewhere?"

Ever since 488 Haight St. saw the closure of Cuco's in October 2014 (followed by the opening of Emanuel Cafe in February of 2015), readers have wondered whether the Campos family would be reopening Cuco's elsewhere, as they had hoped.

This week we checked in with daughter Judy Campos for the answer. Judy tells us the family is still seeking a new location, but that the search has so far been fruitless. She adds that they'd ideally like to relocate in the Lower Haight area. "We miss everyone!"

Photo: Nuala Sawyer / Hoodline

"What's the deal with Lee's Meats / Popular Market? Is it being torn down or what?"

We reported earlier this year that plans were advancing to demolish the blighted building at 478 Haight and replace it with four stories of housing and retail. But those plans, which have been in the works since 2011, are now on hold.

We checked in with the architects of the new project, who informed us that the building's owner is waiting for the city's proposed new affordable housing bonus program (AHBP) to be approved before proceeding. Under that program, developers could exceed current height limits by up to two stories if 30 percent of their new units were permanently set aside for middle- or low-income residents.

The AHBP is slated to be considered by the Planning Commission at their January 28th meeting. So, look for progress on 478 Haight to resume in some form thereafter.

Reader Katya G. tipped us off to the fact that the storefront is is now less colorful: its bright mural was painted over this week. A sign posted on the door, dated Dec. 21, warns that the building's owners had 15 days to repair and improve the property or face fines from the city. 

Locals may remember a brightly-painted mural in 2012, later replaced by this one from earlier this year, and most recently, these mysterious figures

And Gaston

"When is that breakfast taco place opening?"

In March, we brought word that a breakfast taco venture called SixFoot20 was aiming to take over the Rising Star Laundromat at Duboce and Fillmore, with the goal of opening this past August. But here we are in December, with laundry still launderable, and no tacos to be breakfasted.

SixFoot20's chef Ray Gaston informed us that he discovered some unexpected and unspecified issues with the space that ultimately made the taco venture untenable. As of last week, Gaston was "still looking for a permanent home, but the real estate market is so crazy right now that it might take a while." (In the meantime, you can check his website to find out where SixFoot20 might be popping up next.)

Reader Shanna M.

"What's up with that burned-out house on the 300 block of Haight?"

Way back in July of 2013, a 4-alarm fire broke out in the garage of a Victorian at 371-373 Haight St. between Webster and Buchanan. The blaze left two people injured, and the building seriously damaged.

Now, despite having boasted a "sold" sign for over a year, the house still appears to be damaged and vacant. Why?

The house did apparently sell on July 31, 2014 (for $1.4 million, according to Redfin), and now the renovation project is winding its way through the permitting process. Plans were filed earlier this year to replace the brick foundation with concrete, fully remodel all three floors, add a bedroom, and repair the exterior fire damage. These things can take a while, so: patience.

Photo: Andrew Dudley / Hoodline

"What's up with Nectar? Sometimes I think I see lights on or people in there."

Nectar, the cafe at 663 Haight St. which opened in 2012 and closed in 2014, has been closed to the public for a year and a half. But sometimes it looks like there's activity in there. What's going on?

On-demand meal delivery service Sprig began using the space's kitchen in 2014, though we don't know whether that remains the case today. Nectar's Facebook page now lists the cafe as "A private, cultural events space, available for rent," so it's possible you're just seeing the occasional private party in there. Or maybe not ... but what would the Lower Haight be without a little mystery?

Got a neighborhood-related question we haven't answered yet? Let us know in the comments.