May 18, 2024

Most of San Francisco’s live music venues are up and running. Slim’s, Amnesia and the Revolution Cafe all changed for the worse, while new venues blossomed in Benecia, Sonoma, Pleasanton and beyond.

Slim’s has a nefarious backstory as told in I Went to YOLO—the Nightclub That Replaced Slim’s—So You Don’t Have To from KQED. Briefly, what had belonged to music-loving Jedi has been lost to the Dark Lords of Weak Drinks at Stiff Prices.

Amnesia had been on shaky ground before the pandemic, then the virus hit and there are no signs of revival. Valencia Street has Amado’s, Blondie’s and The Chapel and, just off Valencia on 22nd, is the Make-Out Room. All have full bars, but Amnesia’s license was for beer and wine thus the neighborhood seems to have outgrown the bar.

The Revolution Cafe, across the street from the Make-Out Room, was a cafe space that featured mainly jazz and “international” bands. Once each month, Classical Rev, a revolving cast of musicians from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music would play classics with passion in this little cafe. Alas, ’tis no more.

Clubs that are happening in the outer Bay Area, usually on weekends, include Lucca Bar and Grill in Benecia, Middle 8 in Pleasanton, and the Viansa Winery’s Summer Series, Starling Bar, and Reel & Brand all in Sonoma. The Twin Oaks in Penngrove, just north of Petaluma, was going strong before the pandemic and is back in gear now. Roxx on Main in Martinez, Brewsters in Petaluma, The Red Caboose in Anitoch and the Papermill Creek Saloon are a couple of honorable mentions. All of these and more can be found on the Hicks with Sticks Venues page which, in turn, provides links to all their event calendars and Facebook pages.

And now we close with photos of SF’s recently revived night life.

Lucy and the Long Haul at the Make-Out Room

Highwater Blues at the Saloon
Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines at Madrone
Jinx Jones at Tupelo
Edgar, Allen, Griffiths at Lucky Horseshoe

Americano Social Club with Whirling Belly Dancer at ClubDeluxe