We’re having a grand year in 2016…celebrating 85 years in operation and perhaps one of the last privately owned and operated live music and private event venues in the United States! Who knew we would be having this much fun for so long? What started out as a big dream from a young man arriving from Italy with only a few dollars in his pocket and years of a lot of hard work and dedication, Bimbo’s 365 Club is known around the world today as one of the most iconic music venues of San Francisco, rich with star-studded history and tales of the should- and shouldn’t-be-told.
The 365 Club opened its doors for the first time in 1931 at the location of 365 Market Street by partners Monk Young and Agostino “Bimbo” Guintoli with the hopes to provide top-notch entertainment and a sophisticated menu for the people of San Francisco amidst the dry years of Prohibition and Depression. What they didn’t imagine were the upcoming years of great success, the move to the renowned architect Timothy Pflueger-designed building in North Beach in 1951, and the innumerable memories held dear by all those who have visited, worked, and who were even kicked out of the club. From big bands to comedians and dancers, so many great artists have graced our stage such as Glen Campbell, Marvin Gaye, Charles Pierce, Smokey Robinson, Korla Pandit, Rodney Dangerfield, Flip Wilson and several performances by the beloved Robin Williams. Rita Hayworth was discovered here when she was performing as a dancer! The Stooges had given a notable performance in 1974 that is still a coveted bootleg recording today. Adele made her first appearance in San Francisco on our stage, and the Flaming Lips have left behind much confetti on a few occasions. James Brown, er.. that’s MR. BROWN… and all his glory couldn’t have been more at home with his glittered cape flung on stage next to our glittered theater curtains. Chris Isaak was inspired to use the club as his backdrop to his television show. Bimbo’s dancefloor has seen some moves as San Francisco’s go-to dance club for the 90s Rockabilly revolution with the Brian Setzer Orchestra in-house, and classic cars from our pals Vise Grip and Mr. Lucky parked in front rounded out the whole scene. Coldplay used our back parking lot to play cricket in between sound check and their performances. Neko Case gave us the giggles in 2004 & 2006, and our minds were blown again in 2012 with Rodriguez. Jamiroquoi gave us a remarkable performance of Virtual Insanity in 1997, and antique-loving Jack White gave the club love on several occasions with his excitement about our dedication to keeping up with the historic décor. We can’t name all the memories in one post but for a lengthy list of notables who have performed here, check out our artist list here.
We’re so thankful for all these years and look forward to many more. Thank you San Francisco!