2013 San Francisco Bacon and Beer Festival
A Fillmore gig is a sure sign you've officially made it. You'll pass the ghosts of Hendrix, Joplin, Garcia, and venue mastermind Bill Graham as you climb the stairs; in the foyer, grab a free apple and soak in an enormous wall of pop-star Fillmore alumni, while a full bar/restaurant lurks upstairs. The huge hardwood main room is the same place Hendrix and Miles Davis recorded live albums back in the day. The Fillmore's demographic has shifted younger in recent years (as modern and alternative rock have overtaken the classic and acid varieties), but it's still one of the best places in the world to see a show.
This tony uptown SF club caters to the corporate crowd: On quieter nights, the dance floor is crowded with people gabbing on cell phones, sending dispatches via Blackberry, and generally acting like they have someplace better to be. Still, most of the events at Fluid have a hip-hop or house edge. With its ice-blue lighting, wraparound bar, and smattering of VIP booths (all cordoned off with four-foot faux champagne tumblers), Fluid combines opulence with spare, hyper-modern decor. Located two blocks from Montgomery BART station, across the street from SFMOMA.
In addition to a California/Mediterranean-inspired menu, the restuarant also hosts screenings of foreign and independent films in its covered courtyard.