1232 Grant Avenue (map)
Hours: Mon - Sun: 12:00 pm - 1:30 am
World’s greatest blues bar? Well, that may be a little strong, but it’s the oldest bar in San Francisco and boasts the best of the blues in the Bay Area, not only in terms of the incredibly good music with almost unbelievably small crowds of a mid-week evening, but because of the impressive array of CDs recorded on the premises and released by proprietor Myron Mu. The days of catching Tommy Castro at The Saloon are probably past, but Johnny Nitro & the Doorslammers rock the place almost every Friday and Sunday night while Ron Hacker, Steve Freund, Cathy Lemons, Daniel Castro, Dave Workman and numerous others are on the regular roster too. And, every Monday night (“for the rest of our lives”), The Bachelors.
During the 1800s, so the legends go, drunks who stumbled out of this tavern risked being shanghaied for nasty and ill-paid ocean voyages. The building survived the ‘06 earthquake, it’s said, because of its unusually stout timbers. It survived the subsequent fires, it’s said, because the fire brigades made sure protect the hookers who worked upstairs. Today the doorman-bouncer-soundman Greg scares hell out of would-be troublemakers but is actually one of the sweetest characters you’ll ever meet. And oh yes, for between sets, this place has about the best jukebox anywhere.
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