San Fran

Keeping the scene alive

Photography: Sean Aicken

SAN FRAN: The revamped Bath House is flying the flag for live music in a changing world  

The venue formerly known as the San Francisco Bath House has lost a few letters from the signage, gained a new look and remains committed to live music. “We want to be a really kick-arse all-genre venue,” says the splendidly named Ziggy Ziya, manager of San Fran. “Music is our passion.” Raekwon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, CSS, Gomez, The Black Lips, Iron And Wine, Broken Social Scene and Animal Collective are among the international acts that previously packed out this place. The redesign looks back as well as forward, with an impressive collection of SFBH concert posters.

The kitchen serves up tasty American-style tapas. The craft beer selection is one of the best in the city. Having done all he can do inside the four walls, Ziya hopes that San Fran’s neighbourhood, the heart of Wellington’s creative quarter, can retain its distinctive feel. “This area has always been home to people who are a little bit alternative. It’s slowly changing, and we’re one of the last live music venues standing here, so it’s important to us to make it work. We love what we do.”

171 Cuba Street

“We want to be a really kick-arse all-genre venue”
Ziggy Ziya

© Photo: Sean Aicken


DJ Marek, 35, is a mainstay of the Wellington music scene

I start a night out at…

Phoenician Cuisine on Cuba St, where they do a mean Lebanese chicken thigh salad. With solid New York rap blasting, it’s the perfect start to the evening.

My local is…

Bettys on Blair St. I’ve worked as a DJ there for the last few years and it’s the go-to spot for visiting artists. Recently hosted: Danny Brown, ASAP Ferg and Tinie Tempah.

Man on the rise

Race Banyon, who is a top producer mixing electronica and rap acapellas alongside original compositions and lush covers.

Sup stories 

How famous cocktails got their names



American mining engineer Jennings Cox ran out of gin while entertaining guests at home in Cuba, so he improvised. His cocktail of rum, fruit and sugar was a hit, and in 1905 he named it after a nearby village.  

© Photo: Getty Images



When Venetian barman Giuseppe Cipriani mixed Prosecco with fresh peach and raspberry juice, the resulting pink drink reminded him of a toga in a Giovanni Bellini painting. Hence the name. (Now it’s not pink.)  

© Photo: Getty Images


Bloody Mary

Its most likely origin relates to Parisian barman Fernand Petiot, who is said to have made the drink in 1920 for vodka heir Vladimir Smirnov, whose name was mispronounced by a drunken patron.   

© Photo: Getty Images

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