Housed in a Victorian building at the foot of Potrero Hill, the aptly named venue flicked on its blue neon sign in 1991 and has since hosted some of the most venerable names in rock: Marilyn Manson took the stage in ‘94; Cake performed in ‘97; and the Beastie Boys, then touring as the hardcore band Quasar, played in ‘96. Today, catch acts from popular and obscure genres (think “pysch farmageddon”) seven nights a week, and often for as little as $10 per show.
The intimate space draws crowds from all corners of the city, and it’s easy to see why. The set-up feels more like a cool underground house party than a rock venue, and the closest spectators stand inches from the stage. Arrive early for bigger acts, and be prepared to squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbors—it’s part of the appeal. The kitchen serves snacks, with vegetarian options that include a made-from-scratch black bean hummus plate, tofu tacos, and a veggie dog. (It is San Francisco, after all.) An adjacent bar will keep you fueled through multiple performances. Bring cash for both food and drink. You’ll want to stay the whole night.