From gay clubs to hipster joints.
During the day this loft is taken by artists at work. At night, check their website to see what’s on - they have three floors mostly housing famous electro musicians. The club is not that big for SF but its gigs are quite crowded. Gigs are usually not free but sometimes you can put your name on a guest list following a link on their website - just come by specific time. It's a common practice for SF clubs - usually it's before 10 or 11 pm or later if you were put in by one of your DJ friends (it depends on the venue).
This tiny club hosts live gigs of all genres - techno, rockabilly, punk and soul. The entrance is about $5- $15 depending on who is playing but Wednesdays are free jazz time. Check the schedule on their site and if you don't like the program hop to another bar - Amnesia is located in a very hip area so in five minutes you'll be in another hot spot. Though the bar is tiny they have Anchor Steam beer, but I think every bar in SF has.
It's for those who love it heavy or for punk-rock fans. The place is also a bar so you'll have to pay to get to a live gig. Plenty of local talents and visiting celebs made this venue iconic as well as their a juke box which is free - a rarity compared to other places. So come, choose your music and enjoy. Another benefit is a smoking lounge which means no outside fuming.
By the way Polk Street is packed with clubs so just walk along and pick the music you like. Before club hopping have dinner at Nick’s Crispy Tacos, it's not that far.
Madrone Art Bar
The best thing about Madrone is their dance battles when Michael Jackson and Prince fans clash - they host them once a month. All night they play mixes of the two pop- kings' hits and serve lots of cocktails. The decoration is painting and art all on sale. The regulars are youngsters in their 30s drinking gin and tonic and moon-walking - a typical SF scene.
An underground place with famous bands on stage and celebs like Grimes or Pictureplane among the audience - that's the place for touring musicians who want some music. The second floor has a pool room – the table is often used as a bed for tired club goers. Usually people come in gangs but their gigs are so crowded you won't feel lonely on your own and have great chances to meet your favorite singer in the crowd.
The craziest gay club in Castro: inside it reminds a dancing school where everyone is under LSD. The number one commandment here is dance as you can and try to grab the biggest attention. Music matches the mood: pop radio hits, Britney oldies plus cheap booze - quite a formula. Girls should be ready for loads of dancing partners - gays love taking chicks to the floor to showcase their skill so don' t be afraid to be spun, twisted and lifted up in the air. Weekdays the entry is free and the place is quite crowded while week ends you have to pay $5 and wait in a huge line to get in and get your drink.
You'll inevitably end up here no matter what (the name tells the truth). Frisco laws are harsh about drinking and selling booze in clubs after 2 am so getting anywhere after 2 pm will be an exclusive privilege. The EndUp however welcomes anyone so after 2 pm it has a huge line. The entrance is $20 the music is some dubstep, the crowd is diverse - half- naked girls, crazy dancers with bottled water and so on. Usually people stay here all night or find a private party in the Warehouses and head there. It seems like everybody hates this place but was there at least once.
Paradoxically the name has it right -the club is not so well heard of - its regulars are young techno DJs on stage and their friends in the crowd. The place is small, a bartender walks alone so sometimes he takes a pause and leaves for thirty minutes or so - very home party-like. The venue is located by the hippy Haight-Ashbury area so visit it after shopping there - all the fun starts by 11 pm.