Over the last three years, San Francisco has seen the gradual loss of venues for live music. At the end of 2013, the venerable Cafe du Nord closed its doors for a lengthy remodel. According to the new owners of the building, music will return, but most likely it will be upstairs at the Swedish American Hall. The days of honky tonk shows in a subterranean speakeasy are over.
Word is that the Elbo Room is also facing closure. The Elbow Room is not known as a country venue, but it has been an important part of the Mission District music scene for many years. It’s loss would be devastating for a city already reeling from the loss, rehabilitation, or forced relocation of historic establishments like the Gold Dust Lounge, Rasselas jazz club, Schroeder’s German rstaurant, Joe’s of Westlake, Gio’s Bar, Joe’s Cable Car, Da Pitt on Divis, Moishe’s Pippic in Hayes Valley, Fior d’Italia and a long list of others old-timers.
The only thing you can do is make a stand. How? Fill the remaining venues every night, and show the owners that live music has a fighting chance in a city where condominiums do better than country music. What is a city without live music?
I’ll tell you what it’s not….it’s not San Francisco.