Party Earth Review Less than a block from the shopping mecca of Union Square, Gold Dust Lounge has all the trappings of a tourist hangout, which is why some of the regulars – who look like they’ve been on the same stools since the opening... ... read full review
247 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
MUNI F Line: 4th Street & Market Street
Downtown / Financial District, San Francisco –
Less than a block from the shopping mecca of Union Square, Gold Dust Lounge has all the trappings of a tourist hangout, which is why some of the regulars – who look like they’ve been on the same stools since the opening of this 1930s-era joint – decry the visits of camera-toting travelers.
But with hot Irish coffees and cold margaritas for only a few bucks, everyone manages to overlook the tourist contingent, especially the Downtown office workers who can always count on Gold Dust when the workweek has them down.
Although a marquee out front gives the façade a theatrical flair, it’s all about vintage saloon kitsch inside, with gilded walls, big-bulb chandeliers, and a ceiling painted with angelic, buxom maidens.
Done with their shifts, retail workers squeeze into the red banquettes that line one wall, while drinkers at the wavy wooden bar run the gamut from old farts to budget-conscious students and fashionably dressed partiers pre-gaming before hitting the neighboring clubs.
Every night, house band Johnny Z and the Camaros – a group known both for its expansive playlist of old rock tunes and its biting curmudgeonly banter – sets up in the back, eventually persuading the diverse clientele to sing along as they order another round of ever-popular Bloody Marys.
To be hip is all well and good, but Gold Dust Lounge focuses on just being fun – and given the exuberant crowds, there’s no question as to which of these two qualities is more important to them.
Local retail and office workers, college students, hotel guests, tourists, unpretentious pre-club crowd, and crusty regulars, 20s to 50s.
Johnny Z and the Camaros perform a selection of old rock tunes nightly 8:30pm–1:30am. TVs tuned to local sports.
No food, but patrons can order from nearby Lefty O’Doul’s. Cash only. Two ATMs on site. No Happy Hour, but cocktail prices go up $1–$1.25 after 8:30pm.
Beer $4–$6, wine $6–$8, cocktails $7–$10, Irish coffee, champagne, and margaritas $3.50–$4.25.
Anything goes: jeans and t-shirts right on up to snazzy business suits.
Thursday through Saturday nights for a packed mix of people boozing and belting out tunes.
Lefty O'Doul's (333 Geary Street) replaces the saloon kitsch with Irish and sports themes, hosts a piano player nightly, and serves up large plates of cafeteria-style grub long into the night.