Photo of Bimbo's in San Francisco, CA, US
Photo of Bimbo's in San Francisco, CA, US
Photo of Bimbo's in San Francisco, CA, US

Bimbo's

Nightclub


1025 Columbus Ave. At Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94133, US
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Bimbo's has 19 Tips

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  • Photo of Alastair B
    a year ago
    This may be a San Francisco institution, but they have a lot going wrong. The service here is terrible, they advertise a 2 drink minimum, during our entire time there (3 and a half hours) not a single server came to our table to ask us if we wanted a drink. After 45 mins we decided to go to the bar ourselves and try and get a drink. There was probably close to 75 tables in the whole place but I only saw a handful of servers. "Food was available" it also said on the ticket, after an hour I finally managed to flag down somebody to order food from, but they couldn't take drink orders. The food was very average when it arrived. But it also wasn't that expensive. The staff I did see were working really hard, but there was not nearly enough people working. Not only are management providing a bad service here, they are leaving money in people's pockets. They could have sold twice the amount of drinks they did I am sure. I will only go back here if there is a band I really, really want to see and I will eat before I go. On the plus side, it is an interesting venue, worth taking in a show if you have already eaten and don't feel like drinking.
  • Photo of chechina
    3 years ago
    I had no idea except for my trusty Tripadvisor reviews what to expect from Bimbo's - what I found was exceptional vintage charm, a well run club with great security and a beautiful bar - it was like going back in time! Old San Francisco but with modern standards of customer service and practicality. All our needs were met - sound system great and visibility as well. Saw musicians Rev. Horton Heat here (4th stop on a No. CA tour) so had experienced other clubs as well. This was an intimate venue but still larger than the other tour stops had been that I had attended - yet the layout of the club was designed so more could fit into the club yet still feel you were in close range to the band. I noticed the club management treated the musicians extremely well, and were very respectful to the attendees also. It IS true they accept cash only - but I was prepared for this so it was no big deal. A block from the Marriott there is safe and secure parking - and it is right near the Embarcadero Drive where you can easily return to the freeways effortlessly. Across the street from great dining - Bimbo's is historic and friendly - I will DEFINITELY return knowing how enjoyable an evening can be had here! SO UNIQUE!
  • Photo of Moondanced
    3 years ago
    A wonderful show! Very intimate venue for music. The atmosphere is spectacular as the music selection. The food is less to be desired.
  • Photo of Abby M
    3 years ago
    Had a conference party here. Kick butt decor and atmosphere with a cool history. A must see in my opinion.. Great drinks!
  • Photo of Abel L
    3 years ago
    When you first walk in, it's like going back in time. The decor is the same as it was way back when the place opened in the 1950s. Very cool. To the left is the old bar. There is a fish bowl in the center that they will on occasion have a "mermaid" swimming in. Good drinks, a little pricey though. The main hall is very nice and spacious. Seating is not too bad. I recommend reserving a table to be safe. The food is basic, burger, sausage, pasta, pizza. Again, it's more to munch on, not for dinner. Acoustics and lighting are very nice. Big stage and dance floor. Two more bars are in the hall. Overall I had a great time. The area is not too bad. When the show gets out, there is an Irish pub across the street to keep the party going. I marked that there was a fee for the attraction because the band we went to see sold tickets.
  • Photo of Julie S
    3 years ago
    On a whim we decided to see what concerts were going on in town while we visited from Kansas. We decided to go see Better Than Ezra at this venue and it was like a step back in time. Great size for an intimate concert with good sound. Downfall - cash only and drinks priced as if you were in a larger venue. We would definitely return to see another band.
  • Photo of TJ G
    3 years ago
    We had the opportunity to go to Bimbos as part of a large group and were greeted by period paparazzi, which was an experience! The decor was fabulous and like a step back in time. The entertainment was great and very professional. The staff were friendly and the food nice. I had the vegetarian option so can't speak of anything else. Well worth a visit.
  • Photo of Middletonmagic
    4 years ago
    We visited Bimbo's as part of a large group last week and had the place exclusively to ourselves - it was quite an experience. We got greeted by "fake" press photographers and journalists in period costume and then seated for the evening after cocktails. The room club room itself was quite intimate and very much 50's/60's period - very atmospheric. The band were outstanding and there was a Carmen Miranda and Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes - Marilyn was incredible !!! The only thing that let the side down for me was the food which was a bit bland - the fried chicken was poor compared to some that we had eaten the night before elsewhere. Great atmosphere though and a really fun evening.
  • Photo of SuzonB64
    4 years ago
    Retro feel, choose a side table which is slightly higher than the main floor and has a great view all round. Food ok, service very good. "Ladies" unchanged from the 50s and a little tired but all in keeping with the feel of the place. A real experience. Band we saw were excellent.
  • Photo of Elle S
    4 years ago
    A review here said there was no dance floor, well, people were dancing up a storm. There was certainly one for the English Beat on Saturday night 01/26/2014. The club has a throwback elegance with various tiers and areas of seating. I came alone as I am a long time fan of the band and was able to sit at a table to the left of the stage, very close and raised above the dance floor. It was perfect! Another couple joined me and the people at the table next to me turned our little area into quite a party. The drinks are fine. Nothing special or to write home about, but really that club is about the music. Don't bother with the food, they only have 4 items. Burger. Fries. I recommend going out to a wonderful SF restaurant before you get there. Also, if you are staying in San Francisco, take a cab. Otherwise it will be very difficult to find parking. If you park in the parking garage recommended by Bimbo's, it will cost $30.00. Security at Bimbo's is relaxed and friendly. How do I know? When I puzzled over why Dave Wakeling would have smoke effects at one point, the security guy standing near me laughed and said, "No, that's pot," There was a group of people near the stage puffing away. I then smelled it and our whole group cracked up. Another note. BRING CASH. They do not take CC for drink/food purchases.
  • Photo of Moncolonel
    4 years ago
    The BIG BAND was lame and the female singers were drunk / stoned / zoned out. Great venue all other days of the year. Total classic SF music venue - they serve bar type food also.
  • Photo of ElaineAndGreg
    4 years ago
    Retro Nightclub, Only It’s The Real Thing We attended a show by the French electro-swing band Caravan Palace at Bimbo’s 365. I had some misgivings about the venue based on reviews here and elsewhere, but actually ended up having a great time. Bimbo’s is and looks like a throwback to the 1940s. The exterior is nothing special, although clearly of that time, but the inside is much nicer and appears to have changed little in the last 60 years. It feels like the kind of place where you would have seen Frank Sinatra or Ricky Riccardo sing circa 1950. There is a large dance floor with tables both on the floor and on elevated tiers around the back and sides. They have a large bar in the back, and two smaller bars on the side. They also have two stages. The night we were there, the smaller stage was used by the opening act, a local band called “Gaucho” and the larger by Caravan Palace. They have pictures on their web site at www.bimbos365club.com. We had no trouble seeing the bands and the sound system was great. Bimbo’s has food available, but the offerings are pretty basic – hamburgers, pizza, and the like. On a crowded night they ask you to share tables – which worked out very well for us as our tablemates were very interesting and then went out on the dance floor when the music began. I thought the service was friendly and relatively prompt, but this is primarily a performing venue, not a restaurant, so don’t expect a white table cloth experience. The food was a little overpriced by restaurant standards, but it was at least decent and we had a good time waiting for the acts to start. By the way, by coming a little early for dinner and sitting on one of the tiers on the side, we had a nice view all night. If you are take a table by the dance floor, you’d probably not have as good a view – or you can simply leave your table to get closer to the band (which I would recommend doing before the crowds arrive). At least some of the less flattering reviews on this site arise from problems such as getting into sold out shows. While that certainly can be frustrating, it’s hard to blame Bimbo’s for that and you can always book ahead on line as we did if there is a show you really want to see. As for the food, consider it a convenience while you wait for the show to begin. This is a fun, historic venue, and a nice place to see a show.
  • Photo of Mercurial1
    5 years ago
    We went to Bimbo's 365 to see Super Diamond perform. They were awesome! The club is so cool. It is straight from the 1930's. There is a coat check in the front. There is a cute little bathroom attendant who is so sweet. She was giving the ladies who entered motherly advice. The club was clean and it's decor was aesthetically pleasing to the eye-red leather, velvet drapes, black and white tiles on the floor, and of course a disco ball hanging above the dance floor! Bimbo's 365 rocks! The only negative was our waitress. She was a bit cold and stand-offish. Other than that MINOR irritant, the overall experience at Bimbo's 365 was great. I'll definitely be back.
  • Photo of keshetconi
    6 years ago
    I have read the website and expected a more lavish experience. The stage is small, great for a stand up act. No dancing area. From the video on their website, it appears the heyday was in the 50's, with a 5 star menu, full bar, dancing, and different location. The turn off that will not have me return, poor sound quality.
  • Photo of brucesee
    6 years ago
    I saw the wonderful Yael Naim here recently and found it to be a really great venue for music. The old club ambiance gives the place a feeling of grown up sophistication while still being a fun place to be. The sound itself was excellent and a testament to both the acoustics of the room and a very competent guy on the sound desk. On the negative side was the food. I didn't come here for the cuisine but I did expect a bit more than the very ordinary burger, half cooked pizza and cold fries that my partner and I were served up. And the fact that this uninspiring fare came to us on paper plates with plastic cutlery tended to work against that sophistication that I mentioned earlier. On the drinks side I'll only say that the cosmopolitan that my partner ordered has been sent away for analysis but as yet the substance has not been identified. From the taste my guess is that cough medicine featured in it's construction. Don't let this put you off going though, the venue itself is worth the visit. Just eat before you get there, there's plenty of places close by.
  • Photo of ash0902
    6 years ago
    Awesome venue, went to see a MJ tribute concert for Halloween and it was worth it. The band was good, had everyone on their feet. The place is not too big or small and makes for a nice intimate setting to enjoy with close friends. The ticket prices were reasonable too. Make sure you take your cash since its a cash bar only. There is an ATM machine outside.
  • Photo of tahoerabbit
    6 years ago
    I have been going to Bimbo's 365 Club for years and have seen all kinds of performances there from Robin Williams to Rodney Crowell to Macy Gray to Chris Isaak to Gato Barbieri to Raul Malo. It is, by far, one of the best venues for entertainment in San Francisco. What's great about it is it has basically looked the same for years which is one of the reasons people love this venue so much. The acoustics are excellent. I have always had a wonderful time whenever I've gone to Bimbo's and never get tired of seeing people perform there. The tickets are generally very reasonable and it's a very nice intimate setting. I can only hope that Bimbo's 365 Club is around forever and ever. It's absolutely one of my favorite nightclubs. If you've never been there, you are missing something special. Go check it out one of these days.
  • Photo of Jennifer D
    6 years ago
    I LOVE this venue! Why the 1 point off? I found that the website is very misleading. 2 drink min. required....but they have no way of keeping track if you have had 1,2, 12 or way more than you should they will never know when it's open seating and dancing. I also felt that the food menu (only 4 items) was not worth while. Our server was not the happiest person in the world either; she came back with our drinks (- the food) and said she needed to be paid now. I said I needed to go to the ATM and if I could pay when the food came. She said no and waited for me to grab $. The place is cash only....there is an ATM machine inside that will charge you $2.50 fee....so pull out what you need or be sure to have enough cash on you for the night. The bar never stopped serving nor put a cap on the amount of drinks 1 person could order. At some point the bar has a duty to stop serving if people can't focus or speak clearly. We were sitting right next to the bar and could clearly see the ones that shouldn't of had anymore to drink. Aside from that, the place is awesome! Great dance floor, sound system and interior. Tip the lady cleaning the bathroom and don't be so rude that you can't clean up after yourself. No one wants that job....put yourself in that persons shoes and think twice before leaving your dirty items around for them to clean up after you. Parking is difficult; if you get lucky parking on the street, make sure you read the signs or you may not find your car there when you return.
  • Photo of majz1
    9 years ago
    I planned on going to the Isaac Delgado show here. I was going to call and order tickets, but on our way back to our hotel we came across the club and there were 2 guys at the door. I asked them if I could buy tickets for the 10pm show(it was 6) they told me that I had to get in line, there was no line. They told me that I was the line and that I had to get back behind the rope! They were very rude and didn't look at me at all, kind of looked past me. Some other people showed up that had tickets for the early show and they were also told to get in line, but on the other side! It was pretty funny, very arrogant staff. We left. If you work someplace and someone asks you a question, you should be courtious and not act like this customer is interupting you, especially if you are just standing there.

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