Quite possibly the most straight-up bling-blingy glam-slammin' venue in the entire city of San Francisco, Ruby Skye features DJs and live music acts regularly. Dance floor, multiple bars, balcony, VIP rooms, indoor smoking lounge, velvet rope.
During the 1800s, The Saloon claims, drunks who stumbled out of this tavern risked being shanghaied for nasty and ill-paid ocean voyages. This spot also survived the 1906 earthquake. Now this blues bar prides itself in honoring the genre's upcoming musicians. Johnny Nitro and The Doorslammers can be seen playing every Friday and Saturday night. Be sure to also check out Lucky Strike and Chris Cobb. Their full schedule can be found on their web site.
Just up the street from 24th Street BART, this dusky, candle-lit supper-club features excellent live jazz six nights a week, usually for no cover, although the drinks are a little pricey. Weeknights are usually the best times to come, as the place is sparsely attended but still provides classy uptown ambiance, with dim house lamps, carpeting, and photographs of all the great jazz standard-bearers — one wall is dedicated entirely to honoring Louis Armstrong.
Opened by Boz Scaggs in 1988, this live music club regularly features rock, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, R&B, and reggae; full, L-shaped bar around the dance floor and seating area. See web site or call for calendar details. Tickets usually range from $10 to $30, all-ages. Bar food available; buy dinner tickets and get a seat on the balcony, otherwise you need to stand (or dance) at all shows.
If you're into garage rock, metal, or country, Thee Parkside is the place to hang your hat. The bar is known for drawing a who's-who in the San Francisco independent music scene (label owners, poster makers, photographers, and the like), thanks to the owner's friendly associations, ample parking, and Cheers-like atmosphere. Regulars can be found enjoying a burger and fries at the bar, or playing ping-pong in the outdoor patio out back. The San Francisco Indie-Mart is also held once a month at Thee Parkside.