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
1233 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
MUNI KT Lines: Third Street & Mariposa Street
Daily 8:30pm–2am, unless otherwise noted
Potrero Hill, San Francisco –
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.
Musicians, hipsters, barflies, students, friends of the band, and hardcore followers of obscure acts, early 20s to 30s. Some shows all ages.
Live music most nights, often three to four bands per night.
Standard bar fare including tacos, sandwiches, and burgers, served until 11pm or midnight.
Tickets $0–$20. Small dishes $3.75–$7.50, sandwiches and burgers $6–$9. Beer $3.50–$8, wine $7, cocktails $7.
Anything goes: plaid, band t-shirts, jeans, jackets, skirts, tank-tops.
Any time a band of interest is playing.
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.