This chic, medium-size cocktail lounge located in SF's Lower Haight District showcases paintings and mixed-media installations by local artists. Enjoy specialty cocktails like fruity martinis and flavored vodka drinks, plus regular happy hour DJs spinning house, reggae, funk, hip-hop, downtempo, Afrobeat, Latin, and calypso. Live music every Wednesday; DJs Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday; special events on Sundays.
The Make-Out Room is a classic bar/venue in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District. Make-Out usually hosts Litquake reading acts along with other reading acts such as Muni Diaries. There is a full bar and nightly drink specials. The Make-Out Room's favorite burlesque show, a group of cheerleaders that call themselves the Cock T's, perform regularly.
Located across the street from San Franciscos GLBT Center at the intersection where Union Square forks into the Castro and Mission Districts, Martunis is a glammy, well-ventilated, cabaret-style joint where local pianists perform show tunes and jazz standards nightly. Other highlights are the rose and delphinium bouquets, emerald lighting, and selection of martini flavors (including chocolate and orange creamsicle). The bar is kind of a Grand Central Station: Its not explicitly gay, yet extremely popular in the GLBT community, while also catering to a mixed clientele of tourists and theatergoers. Mondays are the only nights this place isnt packed to the gills.
In addition to its frequent hip-hop and DJ showcases (including local and international acts), this SOMA club features video screenings, laser shows, and multimedia installations by artists associated with Blasthaus Gallery. Whereas many conventional club DJs swipe their sets directly from Top 40 radio playlists, Mezzanine performers get a lot more creative, challenging club-goers with new music or taking old music in new, funky directions, so it's never just about moving the crowd. Boasting two tiers and a labyrinthine dance floor, the club also includes a full bar and stage.
Despite its distance from all the main bus and BART lines, Mighty always has plenty of parking available. This swanky medium-size venue features a large dance floor and an elevated stage, where international and local DJs spin downtempo, hip-hop, breaks, or house, along with occasional live bands. Miguel Miggs and Julius Papp host the hip Saturday-night DJ extravaganza, "Salted," which features regular guests.
This smallish Haight Street venue — across the street from SFs famed Amoeba Music store — has two bars, an elevated stage for DJs, and the occasional live band performance, in addition to glamour mirrors and a dance floor that's usually packed on weekends. If you're coming from downtown via public transit, there are three relatively frequent buses that go up Haight, though from the East Bay, Milk is quite a trek. Always free before 9 p.m.