December 10th, 2013
As the holiday season approaches, we reminisce of Agostino “Bimbo” Giuntoli and his notable generosity in giving back to the community in which he came from. Born and raised in Chiessina Uzzanese, a small Tuscan town west of Florence, young Bimbo lived the urban tale of endless walking “uphill, in horrible weather, in both directions” as he commuted back and forth from the residential to commercial sides of town. The small river that separates the two vicinities is a trickling brook most of the year, but during the rainy months the water rages high and strong, inspiring the “character building” tales of peoples’ lives as they walked high and low in search for the best crossing point. After some successful years as a nightclub owner and restaurateur in San Francisco, Bimbo decided to help out the people of his alma mater by funding the construction of a bridge over the river, permanently creating an easy, wade-free crossing point for all those who commute from one side of town to another. In 1953 Bimbo and his family returned to attend the inaugurazione (inauguration) of the bridge, and of course… the town threw a great party in celebration! And what’s a party without a feast? A long table was set up down the middle of the bridge, with a seat and glass of wine for everyone! Family, friends and lovers, young and old, new and familiar, all gathered and raised a glass to Bimbo for the fine gift he gave his hometown. Saluti!
A trip to Bimbo’s Bridge was chronicled by San Francisco’s favorite yarn-spinner Herb Caen in the column “Baghdad-by-the-Bay” on May 19, 1955 in the SF Examiner.
November 14th, 2013
Oh New Year’s Eve, you’re Dolphina’s favorite party! Already confirmed for this year are The Gold Star Soul Revue, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Gaucho, and special appearances by Dolphina our girl in the fishbowl. And there’s much more to come! Admission includes a complimentary glass of champagne and party favors. At midnight we will do a balloon drop of over 1,000 balloons. Celebrate another year of vices & virtues here at Bimbo’s, a tradition we’ve had since our opening in 1931. Won’t you join us?
Tickets are available here.
New Years Eve at Bimbo's in 1955
October 7th, 2013
Our beloved and decorated neighbor Lyle Tuttle hardly needs an introduction, but we certainly have a lot to say about him! Quite the raconteur, there’s always a good time to be had with the talented Lyle. The tattoo pioneer has led the life of leaving no stone unturned as he became one the most famous of tattoo artists of all time and major player of the burgeoning tattoo industry since the late 1940s. He’s traveled the world, met and inked some pretty major icons, made controversy with his cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1970, and chatted up Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. For those who wield their memories in ink on their bodies and those who admire, we have Lyle to thank for not only his talent, but also for implementing sterilization and medical practice as mainstream health regulations in the trade nationwide. And the man isn’t even close to finished with his bucket list.
We’ve had all sorts of events at our club, but hardly any could top our best memories with Lyle Tuttle’s 1st (1978) and 2nd Annual Tattoo Ball (1979). In celebration of the history of tattoos, the nights were not shy of all sorts of performers strutting their stuff – with some of his fire dancers setting the standards of building fire permits in practice today. Champagne flowed and stories told, and the swingin’ sounds with Mike Wilhelm, Girl George, Dick Bright and Bubba Lou, The Highballs and more kept the crowds dancing all night long on those epic SF evenings. Many a tattooed Lydia played the role as the Girl in the Fishbowl on those nights, but despite his tease, Lyle Tuttle never jumped in the tank himself. For a front-row seat at one of these historic events, check out a video of Lyle’s introduction to the first Tattoo Ball here.
What next is there for Lyle Tuttle? His vivacity for knowledge and life has made him a historian of the tattoo trade, North Beach and SF History and beyond. We’re anxiously giddy about the reopening of his Studio and Tattoo Art Museum down the street from our club to the public in the near future. Keep tabs on his 841 Columbus Avenue or his website, and you’ll be destined to be in the presence of greatness.
September 23rd, 2013
No need to consult your record collection, Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes have all the right ingredients to get your hips grindin’ and your hearts sighin’ just like those dusty Motowns and Stax 45s sitting on your shelves. Power diva with a big voice, Clairy Browne, and her harmonizing girl group formed in 2009 over a mutual love of nineties dance videos, early rhythm n’ blues records and big hair. The golden-voiced ladies found their match with a group of lovable rogue musicians and started rehearsing and recording in a barely standing ex-coffin factory in the suburbs of Melbourne. That studio-factory quickly became the musical home to this young band as they churned out well-received singles. ‘Baby Caught The Bus’ is the band’s full-length debut album. Its 11 tracks of hard-edged rhythm and blues are now smoking up the charts in R&B, Top Heatseekers, and the Billboard 200 categories. Having made only a few stateside appearances so far, this wild bunch of fashionably-clad and soulfully talented Aussies now have a proper American tour underway. Their live shows are an experience from start to finish and we’re delighted to have them on our stage on October 18th.
Check out their video for the song “Love Letter” and you’ll know this is a show not to miss!
Tickets are available here.
September 12th, 2013
The 7th Annual Richard de Lone Special Housing Project Benefit on Sunday, October 6 will cap off the Bay Area music lovers’ favorite weekend! This incredibly important benefit at Bimbo’s 365 Club will feature some of the best bluegrass, Americana and rockabilly musicians in a post-festival after party with Nick Lowe, Boz Scaggs, Buddy Miller, Loudoun Wainwright III, Bill Kirchen, Jim Lauderdale, Caroline de Lone, and the RDSHP Rockers. The concert will benefit the Richard de Lone Special Housing Project founded by musician Austin de Lone and his wife Lesley with the goal of building a state-of-the-art residential center for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome, like their son Richie. More special guests will be announced soon. This promises to be an after party that will raise the roof in more ways than one!
General Admission tickets to “Raisin’ The Roof For Richie” are $50. There will also be a limited number of ringside tables available for $450, which include special seating for four. Click here to buy your tickets.
About The Richard de Lone Special Housing Project:
The Richard de Lone Special Housing Project is a non-profit organization with the goal of building a state-of-the-art residential community for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare and complex genetic disorder with no known cause or cure. For more information, please visit www.rdshp.org.
Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare and random genetic disorder. Like many syndromes, it has a litany of problems associated with it but the two characteristics that are there in every case are hypotonia, low muscle tone, and a disordered appetite/satiety function that results in a constant craving for food. For more information, please visit the Prader-Willi California Foundation website at www.pwcf.org.
September 10th, 2013
Love is always in the air at Bimbo’s 365 Club. There’s hardly a dull moment around here, but what makes things really exciting is to hear about the stories of romance that happened within these walls. It’s quite often that one of our staff gets the juicy gossip on how someone met their beau at the club, or how we’ve played the setting of a meeting, a hot date, a wedding, or anniversary celebrations. We’ve heard so many stories from first kisses, first dances, or even love-at-first-sight, but it really NEVER gets old. This is the good stuff, people! If you have a story to share about your romance at Bimbo’s 365 Club, we welcome you to submit a story! A contest might be in order too- some of the lucky chosen will be offered tokens of our affection in return. Spread the love around, everyone!
For those who want to share your stories and pictures, we’d love to hear from you! Please submit all via email to email@example.com and include “Love” in the subject line. In the event of possible publication, you will be contacted in advance for consent to use your story and/or photo.
August 29th, 2013
A. La Rocca Sea Food Inc. has been with us since the beginning! Reminiscing in the archives is always entertaining, and in this edition we’d like to highlight one of the businesses that has worked with us since the club opened in 1931. In a recent browse through this 1939 pamphlet of the Club’s days on Market Street, we couldn’t help but notice their listing on our preferred vendor page. Just as Bimbo’s 365 Club has been handed down through the family over the years, A. La Rocca’s is fourth generation family owned & operated today. Though our orders may not be as heavy as they were during our dinner theater days, we still choose to source the finest seafood from them when called for. Check out their website and get to know another San Francisco family business!
Preferred Vendor page from 1939 Bimbo’s Club pamphlet
Cover of 1939 brochure for Bimbo’s 365 Club
July 31st, 2013
Remembering JJ Cale will always be easy, as the late singer-songwriter’s contribution of amaranthine anthems will never be forgotten. With a catalog of 16 albums and innumerable songs written for other musicians, JJ Cale’s songs were made to last. The signature laid-back style of his lyrics and grooves are like a sweet ride that’s so familiar and comfortable, one loses track whether they’ve heard the song a million times or never before. Often toted as a musician’s musician, the songs of JJ Cale were covered extensively by talents as disparate as Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, Santana, Captain Beefheart, Waylon Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Widespread Panic. Earlier this year, Neil Young remarked that Jimi Hendrix and JJ Cale were the two best electric guitar players of all the musicians he had ever heard.
JJ Cale led a very private life outside of the amassed fame he earned from his work in the studio. “I’d like to have the fortune,” he said in his biography, “but I don’t care too much about the fame.” The shy Grammy-Award winning multi-instrumentalist rarely toured to celebrate his career. We were lucky enough to have him grace our stage on two different sold-out occasions. The first as an acoustic performance in March 2002 and the second show in April 2009. He should also be remembered for his support to local communities while on the road. As per his request, a portion of the ticket proceeds from his show on April 2, 2009 went to support Grateful Dogs Rescue, the oldest all-breed animal rescue group in San Francisco. What a guy!
Rest your body in peace, JJ Cale, and long live your music.
JJ Cale at Bimbo's 365 Club 4/2/09
Watercolor by Saul Levy (Bimbo's 365 Club's bartender & artist extraordinaire!)
July 22nd, 2013
After a sold-out performance in New York City earlier this year, Herbert Grönemeyer, Germany’s most acclaimed and best-selling rock artist, will launch his first full US tour this September. Bimbo’s 365 Club is pleased to present his Northern California debut on September 27! A true renaissance man, Grönemeyer first came to prominence in Germany starring in the classic film ‘Das Boot.’ As a musician, he has sold over 18 million albums, recorded a song for the World Cup, and is often referred to as “The German Bruce Springsteen”. Herbert and his 5-piece band will perform songs from his English-language album, ‘I Walk,’ which is quickly gaining popularity with American audiences. You can see a trailer the for the new album here. PBS recently aired Herbert’s live concert special, ‘I Walk: Live In Concert,’ which features two duets with Bono of U2. In a review of ‘I Walk,’ The UK’s Telegraph hailed Grönemeyer as “a songwriter of the highest order, a deep lyricist and richly melodic composer with a vigorous stage presence, whose thoughtful songs deal with the real stuff of life.” Bono adds “There’s always more to Herbert’s songs than you first hear.” Don’t miss out on the debut American tour of this talented artist! Tickets are still available.
July 10th, 2013
Where has the time gone? This vintage bar menu from the original 365 Club location on Market Street is a definite indication of the time that has passed. Look at those cocktails! See those prices! As always, Bimbo’s 365 Club was a roaring good time, no doubt!