Best Multi-Genre Music Club
In a city whose roots reach back to Italian immigrants who fished the Carquinez Strait and canned tomatoes in waterfront factories, Armando's is the place to go for an authentic music experience. The intimate club, with an eclectic mix of hand-painted wooden chairs that all face the stage, keeps the attention focused on the music and the performers in a way that harks back to the days when people would relax after work over music and a drink. Beer and wine are on sale, so the club is for adults only. Armando's has become a top draw in the East Bay, with musicians playing everything from jazz to blues, bluegrass, folk, rockabilly jazz, classical music, and just about everything else except commercial rock. The club, which can hold 65 people on couches and benches as well as those famous chairs, is mostly open Thursday through Saturday, and once a month a blues jam takes over a Monday night. Owned by Martinez bon vivant Roy Jeans, the club is named for his singing-chef grandfather, Armando. Local Martinez fine-glass artist Eloise Cotton runs the bar and books acts, which come from all over the Bay Area and also includes occasional touring bands.