Night Clubs, San Francisco
Liquid's resurrection is Pink, the brainchild of two French hipsters one of which is DJ Franky Boissy who spins Latin House and Deep, sexy house. The cool ambiance is heightened by rose scented candles lit for the entire evening lending it a rosy glow and perfuming the air in the process. French film is played in its two flat screen tvs. Brigitte Bardot never looked so good. Tres bien. Music is still Pink's main attraction. The best DJs who are either bay area-based or international ones spin on its decks. Fortunately, some of the best bay area DJs/producers who are also my friends spin there regularly. Pink closed its doors sadly in 2009. The same space is now called Som.
Dress Code: Get ready to dance "in the name of LOVE" (which is painted on its wall) in whatever cool attire you wish to sport. I went apres formal ball held at city hall once and didn't clash with the crowd at all.
I like this space in SOMA near the Design Center since it is substantial, has high ceilings, good sound system and there are many booths in the women's rest room (lines are not crazy long if nature calls) great DJs spinning on certain nights and there's plenty of parking around. It's really a "get down and dance" type of place/crowd with good overhead visuals. I've gone there for Salted events when my DJ friends spin and to see my vocalist friend who sings at the same event occasionally. It's not high on the bling and snob factor so the vibe is very friendly and down-to-earth. I've gone there this year (2010) when Gui Boratto played in April.
Dress Code: Casual cool to apres black tie gala Armani or vintage Pucci with matching Luboutins to Burner crazy. it's San Francisco after all.
San Francisco nightclubs are notoriously strict about verifying I.D. to see that you're 21 - otherwise known as "carding."
Having worked in a bar for many years, I feel I can tell you how (and why) it works this way. When a bar gets caught serving alcohol to minors, they get their license suspended for 30 days - no warnings, no second chances. For a small bar, this can make the difference between staying open or closing for good. Therefore, these clubs take NO chances.
So here's how it works... if you go to a bar or nightclub in San Francisco, you have to be 21 years of age or older and MUST have a government-issued picture I.D. Period. No exceptions. If you don't have one, you will not get in - EVER. They will not accept any excuses; no amount of whining, crying, or screaming will work. They won't let your older friends "vouch" for you. If you don't have an I.D., YOU WILL NOT GET IN.
And the thing is... there is really no excuse not to have one. Unlike in Europe, hotels in the States do not require you to leave your I.D. Nobody does. And everyone knows it. So if you say you left it at your hotel, they'll know you're lying. Only an IDIOT would even attempt to go clubbing in San Francisco without an I.D. Either an idiot... or someone underage.
This strictness applies to all nightclubs and all bars in hot spots like 11th Street in SOMA, or Broadway. Restaurants are less strict about carding, but if you look under 21, chances are they will ask you for I.D. Perhaps in the grubbier areas of town they are less strict. But you had better play it cool and not act like you're on Spring Break. These bars and clubs can get in SERIOUS TROUBLE because of underage drinkers. If they figure out you are under 21, you can expect to be immediately ejected from the club.
SF law actually states that you have to have an I.D. regardless of your age. Even if you're 50, you still have to have I.D., and if you don't, the bar does not have to let you in. I'm always amazed at how some people just HAVE to be jerks about it and insist on not bringing I.D. and arguing with the door people! It's stupid! Just bring your damn I.D. and have fun!
Well before I went here I'd never heard of Harry Denton and his starlight room and although I still don't know who he is I'll certainly remember his name. The Nightclub is situated at the top of the Sir francis drake Hotel and the views alone are worth the cover charge(which if I remember right varied between10-20dollars depending on the night)
The Club is full of beautiful women and there is a live band which play a mix of music which is very very good. The prices for drinks aren't cheap but its to be expected. One thing which did surprise me was the door staff(bouncers) were really nice guys and were willing to have a laugh and joke with you while still remaining proffesional something british doormen need to learn.
Another surprising thing was the dancers. Totally out of the blue two gorgeus women started dancing on mini platforms with no more than underwear on. this was not a one off and we witnessed this on a few different nights. But I'd thoroughly recomend to anyone wanting a very nice out
Dress Code: well dressed. Shirt and shoes on the weekend
Alternative and grungy is the best way to describe Lucky 13. Very much a scene for the locals. No DJ, no dancing, no dress code, just your local watering hole complete with pool table and video games...alcohol of course! To enjoy the view, sit on the balcony and people watch (one of my favorite things to do!). Frequented by lesbians, bi, gay and straight people, it's a cool punk bar.
Dress Code: NONE! Go grungy, you'll fit in better!
Basically, we were looking to go out in downtown but didn't want to pay $20 to get in, which it seemed like all the big clubs there had. The Cellar was walking distance from our hotels, only cost $5 to get in, and was one of the funnest nights we've had. Their Friday night party has an 80's theme, and the crowd was DOWN to dance. They also had hip hop in the 2nd room, which was nicer looking but slightly smaller. It's usually pretty hard to find a place where the crowd and music appeases everyone in our group, but there were plenty of attractive (and surprisingly NOT snobby) people there, as well as having 2 different styles of music going on. I will be moving to SF in a few weeks and am definetely going to frequent this place -- it's laid back, friendly, and good to take groups because there really is something for everyone.
Dress Code: It was a friday when I went, and the girl on the phone said no hats or athletica apparel was allowed. Jeans and/or sneakers had to be dressed up with a nice shirt. I think the idea was just don't look like a slob.
The Peacock Lounge is one of the strangest clubs you will ever go to. It is, as Forrest Gump would say, like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get!
The Peacock has no regular hours. It is available by rental only, so on Friday and Saturday nights it will usually be open. The cover charge, admission policies, and entertainment are all up to the folks renting it - and can range from a lineup of local rock bands to art openings to performance art to theater and everything in between. The only way to know is to show up.
Sometimes events there will be by invitation only, but if you explain that you're a tourist (and give them a little money), I'm sure they'd let you in. The bar is run by the owners, and is usually a low-budget affair - cans of beer in big ice tubs for $2. Last time I went they had liquor, but who knows now.
The great thing about the Peacock is that, whatever you see there, it will be the real San Francisco. You'll meet great people and see how the locals do things.
Dress Code: Again, up to the renters, but given the neighborhood, I would say none.
This is the capital of Union Square nightlife!! The Starlight room is a dance club located at the top of the Sir Francis Drake hotel. From below, you can see a madhouse of strobe lights, colors and glitter from the disco ball...
The Room features live music and has a bar (nobody under 18 allowed...sorry kids!!)
Dress Code: Anything you want!!
Vertigo is one of the newer neighborhood bars, but with a Trader Vic's type of vibe. The crowd is mixed (straight, gay, older, younger) and much friendlier than in most SF bars, the bartenders are attentive, and the DJs spin quite an eclectic mix of tunes. True to their tropical theme, many and varied exotic drinks are served. Try the Wicked Wahine or the Bora Bora Bomb!
Dress Code: Extremely casual.
Ok, I have to admit, this bar was cool. The atmosphere was nice, the lines and decore were modern and clean, great fireplace. In the women's room there is a large plasma TV, to keep up on the soaps I guess. I hear that each of the urinals in the men's room has it's own mini plasma tv also. I have also heard, and read, that this is one of the hottst bars in the area....but I went on a Thursday, which isn't so hot. The bar was only about half full and from the discussion I had with the man at the door, the crowd was much better on the weekend. Regardless, I liked the look of the place and enjoyed my trip, but the weekend would have been way more fun.
If you're going to drink, have one off the specialty menu.
Dress Code: If you wan't to look like you should be there, over dressed would be better than under. Most of the men were in suits and the women were stunning, in their finest clothes.
There are still many areas of San Francisco where you still get the feel of the seedy port that it was not so long ago. Even bustling Market Street still has its enclaves of iniquity.
Dress Code: Rain jackets and rubbers?
In the expansive downstairs area, the dance floor is usually packed with undulating bodies. A partition separates dance and bar areas, but on a good night one spills into the other. Upstairs, you'll find another dance floor with a large window overlooking the main room. Adjacent to the upstairs dance floor is a VIP Lounge populated by luscious youung things snuggling in low-slung couches while making eyes at each other and ordering exotic drinks.
Big Heart City often goes unnoticed. That's not just an IHOP across from the Metreon, but a pretty large nightclub. At the entrance, Big Heart City resembles a grand old hotel lobby with its Art Deco chandeliers and long, polished wooden bar. To the side is a lounge outfitted with low-set antique couches; the only things here that don't scream "1920s" are the big-screen video monitors mounted on either wall. Further back is a spacious wooden dance floor, perfect for some serious getting down. Upstairs is a large wrap-around lounge, where clubbers can watch the action below.
Dress Code: Big Heart City's party roster is constantly changing and always varied. Depending on the night, you'll find everything from hoochie house soirees to bondage and goth parties. It's a good idea to call before showing up, or you could feel out of place with that whip and leather corset.
Do you like it when people chain you to the bed? Do you like to be whipped? Then this is for you. Well, I've only been here once and that was and accident and a looooong story. It's not really my thing, but it may be yours. They play industrial/Goth music and have been voted the best theme club by the readers SF Weekly for the past five years, It's not a gay club... they call themselves a pansexual club. That means straight, gay, bi, trannies all show up at some point or another.
Dress Code: It's not require that you dress up in the black leather and carry a whip... but a lot of people do.
You also have to be 21 to get in, or so they say. The cover is 5 bucks before 23:00 and 7 after
This is a very popular spot and as time goes on, so will the queues... The later you get there, the longer you wait. It opens at 17:00 and closes at 2:00. It really starts to pick up around 23:00 or so.
The entire place is red, hence the name. Oh, and while you're there you might want to get a Cosmopolitans... it's known for them.
Dress Code: This tends to cater to the business class of SanFran and is therefore upscale. If you are not dressed up to their standards you will NOT be let in.