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Amnesia on Valencia is Closing

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Photo from SF Jazz

Sometimes it feels like the San Francisco local media business is a just a race to break the story of which place is closing now. That’s the sad state of media and the sad state of San Francisco in 2020. It’s like bummer porn.

Amnesia was one of the very first bars I ever went to in San Francisco. It was before I even lived here. I was up from Santa Cruz visiting my cousin Becky and we popped in to drink and dance to whatever excellent music was playing that night. This was probably in 2001 or 2002 and The Mission was a very different place. People went out most nights of the week and more often than not, a bar closed because the owner was getting sober, not because the landlord was jacking up the rent.

That’s not necessarily the reason Amnesia is closing. In fact, it was Amnesia employees and former employees who first broke the news on Facebook. I learned about it from the Mission Local article that came out afterwards. Writer Julian Mark notes that it is yet unclear why it’s shutting down. In fact it may reopen. As the Mark mentions:”It was the employee’s understanding that the establishment would close its doors for a few months for a “revamp,” but may not use the entertainment license in the future.”

The heat thing about Amnesia is any night of the week you could drop in and see some live music that was usually not found other places. From Gypsy Jazz to Country to Freak Folk music, visiting Amnesia was always a treat because you never knew what you were gonna get.

This should be yet another reminder to go out and patronize business that you care about. Business closures are great for page views on local news sites but terrible for the soul of San Francisco. I’d rather preserve the latter than the former.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website BrokeAssStuart.com is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, Geek.com and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

1 Comment

  1. DavePanx
    April 20, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Hopefully it gets another life as a space supporting arts and music made by freaky people. I’ve got many terrific memories playing and seeing music and performance at that address when it was Chatterbox then Chameleon. Seems like it’s been a nexus of good weirdness for a long time.