Bottom of the Hill

Bar / Club / Live Music Venue
Bottom of the Hill "Sandwiched between barren lots and auto body shops, the unassuming Bottom of the Hill may never win any awards for ""cool"" based on its façade, but what it lacks on the outside it more than makes up for on the inside – and..." San Francisco United States 37.765055 -122.396359
4.36 10
Bottom of the Hill - Bar | Club | Live Music Venue in San Francisco.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Sandwiched between barren lots and auto body shops, the unassuming Bottom of the Hill may never win any awards for “cool” based on its façade, but what it lacks on the outside it more than makes up for on the inside... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    MUNI KT Lines: Third Street & Mariposa Street

  • Phone:

    415-621-4455

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 8:30pm–2am, unless otherwise noted

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Bottom of the Hill Review

The Scene

"Sandwiched between barren lots and auto body shops, the unassuming Bottom of the Hill may never win any awards for ""cool"" based on its façade, but what it lacks on the outside it more than makes up for on the inside – and..."

Sandwiched between barren lots and auto body shops, the unassuming Bottom of the Hill may never win any awards for “cool” based on its façade, but what it lacks on the outside it more than makes up for on the inside – and Bay Area music lovers know it’s one of the best spots in town to catch the cream of the under-the-radar crop.

Since 1991, the venue’s simple stage has hosted everyone from The Flaming Lips to Arcade Fire – before either was famous, of course – and its checkered dance floor is often shoulder-to-shoulder with punk-crazed moshers one night and relaxed reggae revelers the next. Green Day, Cake, and Blink 182 have played the venue as well, but so have Alanis Morissette and Oasis, so classifying the regulars is about as easy as convincing fans of former guests Marilyn Manson and Kid Rock that the other isn’t a complete moron.

Ragged band posters and fliers cover most of the walls, while funky lamps and random Christmas lights cast a dim glow over the crowd. Fans meander out to the concrete patio to suck down beer and cigarettes before the shows, but once the night’s act takes the stage, most of them flood back inside, perhaps only so they can one day say “we saw them when...”

Out of the way for many residents but well worth the trip, Bottom of the Hill is where both future chart-toppers and local nobodies feel like rock stars, if only for a night.

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Tip from Jonah:

A trip to Bottom of the Hill is a must, but be wary of the location. Cars frequently get broken into outside the club, so don’t leave anything valuable in plain sight.

  • Crowd

    Musicians, hipsters, barflies, students, friends of the band, and hardcore followers of obscure acts, early 20s to 30s. Some shows all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live music most nights, often three to four bands per night.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Standard bar fare including tacos, sandwiches, and burgers, served until 11pm or midnight.

  • Prices

    Tickets $0–$20. Small dishes $3.75–$7.50, sandwiches and burgers $6–$9. Beer $3.50–$8, wine $7, cocktails $7.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: plaid, band t-shirts, jeans, jackets, skirts, tank-tops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any time a band of interest is playing.

  • Close By

    Serving up drafts since the 1930s, Bloom’s Saloon (1318 18th Street) is a blue-collar haunt where patrons can enjoy beautiful views of the city skyline and Bay Bridge from the back patio before heading in to a loud concert at Bottom of the Hill.

Bottom of the Hill User Reviews

Average rating:
Bottom of the Hill
Bun Bun V. May 13, 2013
Bottom of the Hill, the master of the underground world, the hideaway from reality, it feels like you have just fallen down a time portal back to the late 1980's, every where you look there are Punks and Goths, and every kind of alternative soul from the fashions of the late eighties to the Early nineties. I was there to see the band The Subhumans, they were on a tinny stage near the back of this long hallway, people were moving every which way, and it felt like you were drowning in the mosh pit. Huge fans were obeying the every move that the Subhumans made, swaying their heads back and forth, clinging on for dear life at the front of the stage reaching out for their cock like as if it were the end of the world. The stage was so close you could hear the band breath, the show was intense and amazingly dramatic and in an odd way soulful. I felt at ease in this environment, These were my people, it felt like a flash back turning into a reality of my past. A life as a punk rocker,16 and horny, and making out with some guy I didn't even know. Silver studs, liberty spikes, black mascara, and sweat filled the room with an aroma only your memory could withhold. After the show was over, I got to talk to the band members, it was delightful how casual the artists were and very sweet. If you are a true Punk Rocker, Goth, Metal Head or anything of the alternative culture and looking for that good old fashion grungy feel, I would recommend the Bottom of the Hill to be your home away from home
Bottom of the Hill, Top Hidden Venue
Jazz J. May 13, 2013
Hidden at the literal bottom of a hill, this local venue host some of San Francisco's best underground, unsigned and most importantly talented bands and musicians. This place is super intimate and dive-y in the best way. With a small standing space and even smaller stage, music-goers get a one-one performance from their favorite artists. The people who work there treat you like family, and make the entire experience as war, and friendly as visit to your mama's house. A few blocks from the Anchor Steam brewery, the bar is always stalked with the freshest seasonal brews, and cheap cocktails; which one can enjoy with the band members that come and mingle with the crowd post-show. Easily one of my favorite hidden spots in San Francisco, and a true testament to the authenticity and quality of San Francisco's underground music scene.
Best music dive in town
Kirsty E. Feb 23, 2013
OK, so it's tiny, and nobody would ever call it glamorous, but Bottom of the Hill is the best place in town to see a punk or metal show. Remember the clubs where you used to go see bands when you were a teenager, the ones that were dirty and noisy and chaotic but where you always had a great time? This is one of those clubs. Tucked away in an otherwise quiet part of Potrero Hill, getting there can be a bit of a hike, and it's so small it's easy to drive right past it, but trust me, this place is worth finding. With an unusually low stage and no room to put a barrier in front of it, there's very little space between band and audience here. The crowd can be rowdy, but in a friendly way, and there's a cool little patio in the back if you need to decompress and get some fresh air. The bathrooms are surprisingly clean, considering, and the staff are so chilled out you'll wonder what they're smoking in the back. Some shows are all ages, so keep that in mind, but with so few options for teenagers in San Francisco placers like this are vital to keeping the music scene alive, and the kids who come here are great. In an increasingly and often irritatingly gentrified city, Bottom of the Hill is a little island of unpretentious simplicity, a reminder of the city that used to be. If you were ever a punk, metal, or indie kid, you'll love this place.
"Bottom of the Hill", sure. But, of the Top for Concerts!
Silvia U. Jan 24, 2013
Last spring, I saw The Pretty Reckless here and it was grand for my first concert ever! First getting there, I was unsure what to expect because the surrounding neighborhood where this bar was looked red flags for sketchy! However, once I got inside, Bottom of the Hill just oozed Rock N' Roll to me! I thought the venue's dim red lighting throughout the whole place was very fitting for the band's set up and the small space gave concert goers the chance to see the band close-up, so I had no complaints! The bar was swell, especially the bar tenders, because my sister and I had our purses and umbrellas with us and asked them if they could hold it for us, and they were down! Just make sure you take anything you need because they will keep it until the end of the show. Also, the bar was not an open one, so you had to pay for your drinks and that was fine with me since the tickets had been cheap! The bathroom was a little out of the way from the center stage, but you got the see a little backstage and behind the scenes of the band or opening acts, so that was cool while I waited in line. The sound system for the whole place was seriously forgiving because no matter where you stood, you could hear the band loud and clear. Also, considering the small space, anywhere you stood was a good view of the band, maybe except for where the bathroom was, which was on the side of the stage. The only downside, and it had nothing to do with Bottom of the Hill, more so The Pretty Reckless, they were almost an hour late for their performance! Boo! Aside from the ridiculously long wait, when the band performed it was incredible! Even made up for the long wait! Everyone was jumping, banging their heads, and just feeling the music, so much so that being in the crowd you got transported through the live sounds of vocals and instruments blasting at you! Need I say more? I would absolutely return to Bottom of the Hill for another show and recommend this place for true music lovers!
up close and personal
Rachel G. Nov 13, 2012
This is such a great venue to get intimate with bands and musical artists. To some this place may seem too small and filled with too many people, but I love that stuff! I want to see the pain and sweat from the artists that are working so hard to make us dance. I've seen some great acts here and have shared some even more memorable nights in the crowd! It's hard to move around in this place because it's so tight and filled to the brim with people, but if you find your nook in the crowd you should be good to go for the entire night. Great place to go, I suggest for real music lovers.
Top venue to see a show
Dana G. Sep 28, 2012
I love this venue! I'm a fan of small venues where I can touch the sweat dripping off Damien Jurado's face. I don't actually do it, but I like knowing I have the option. This place always has the esoteric music acts I'm into (finally, someone other than my boyfriend who understands my absolute need for electrop-pop) and at a decent price, which is rare these days. It's a bar with a stage (2 of my favorite things), and the bathroom is in no way convenient for those of us with small bladders who don't like smacking in to people as we traipse through the entire venue, but it's charming, dive-y and just what the doctor ordered on a Friday night.
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