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10 Things I Hate About Clubbing in San Francisco

This list is a lie, please ignore it. There are actually no clubs in San Francisco whatsoever.

by Laura Reilly
Apr 7 2015, 4:18pm

People won't shut up about San Francisco. "The food is unmatched," they say, "the nature is so beautiful," "the apps work better up here." Hell yeah, SF is at the tippy­-top of its quality­ of ­life game, but a commitment to recycling and reliable public transport don't quite get those booties droppin'. From bearded ladies to tech visionaries, San Francisco is a city celebrated for its relationship with counterculture. Still, in 2015, no reasonable person can praise this seven­-by-­seven patch of land for its clubbing game. This is why:

10. Facebook Promoters

Here's what happens: you're all like *goes to a club once* and your trigger ­happy iPhone-­wielding ol' bud is all like *geotags you at the club once* and then allofasudden that shady Facebook "other" inbox is flooded with suspect messages from promoters. Go ahead and throw phrases like "guestlist-ish privileges," and "open bar before 7 PM," there is no way I'm willingly shuffling my friends into the greasy grips of your trop house bi-monthly.
(Photo credit: Facebook)

9. Vacuum

SF, you are so cute in the daytime. You've got your all­-season Steven Alan outerwear game on lock, and damn that ass looks good in those high­waisted black jeans. But it's like as soon as that California sun sets over the Pacific Ocean (yeah it's beautiful, don't get @ me), wardrobes werewolf their way into untucked, oversized blue button downs and yellow cowl­neck tanks. What-the-fuck-I-am-not-down.
(Photo credit: GavinArts)

8. Those People

Yeah, I hear you — the "die techie scum" thing is super washed, almost as washed as the blasé "die hippie scum" whine, and I'm not here to make such a ~been~ argument. That said, virtually every San Francisco club is an epicenter of coders, burners or the dreaded "I work at a sage candle subscription box startup" fusion. What are us laypeople supposed to do when we want to go out, but don't really want to fuck around with "Afterburn Playa Beats Vol. IV" or hear about the Airbnb yacht you're staying at during Dreamforce? I don't know, write listicles about it, I guess.
(Photo credit:

7. The 2AM Hand of Death

LA feels us on this one but it can't be stressed enough — 2AM bar close is a confirmed scam. Do you know how early we have to get started to feel like we're really getting our night's worth of the club? Some ungodly still­-light-­outside time that we would never admit to participating in (but do). That's how early. It's a shameful curfew established by a city that doesn't want to extend any trust or freedom to its children. So, yeah, San Francisco is basically North Korea. Basically.

6. BART is the Root of All Evil

It's bad enough that bars close at two, but the fact that the last train leaves at midnight is straight appalling. Isn't San Francisco supposed to be balling out in internet dollars? Can't we extend service and routes? Can't we fund the turnup? This cheap­shot shutdown effectively castrates the city from the East Bay unless you're down to be fully rinsed by Uber (which will probably happen even if you stay local, thanks, surge pricing u r bae!)
(Photo credit:

5. A Classic Bridge and Tunnel Qualm

Call it city­-centric xenophobia if you will, but all these bandage dress San Jose girls fighting with their bro-tank boyfriends give me ulcers. They come to the city for the turnup and they try so hard but, it's such an all around tasteless, classless time that you can't really fault them for it. It's like watching a small child try to accomplish some simple task like turn a doorknob — they're so brand new and can't control their bodies and everything is just so hard, like, I'm sorry dawg. Plus they call it Frisco. Unforgivable.
(Photo credit: Comedy Central)

4. It's Not NOT Roofied

Walk into the club like, whadup I have no intention of touching that beverage, please and thank you, sir.

3. Honestly, What Clubs Even?

This list is a lie, please ignore it. There are actually no clubs in San Francisco whatsoever. There is nothing more than an unnavigable terrain punctuated with scattered Victorians, taquerias, gallery openings with a Valley engineer doubling as a tech-house DJ, and strobe­-lit, body­-filled basements and warehouses. And then there's Ruby Skye.
(Photo credit:

2. Ruby Skye and All It Stands For

I could just plagiarize one of the poignantly scathing Ruby Skye Yelp reviews and get the point across swimmingly but there are honestly too many to choose from. You WILL wait in the type of line usually reserved for New York cro-bagel-nut pop­up shops. You WILL have the beefiest of beefs with a self­important "YOLO"­ tatted bouncer. You WILL mourn the degeneration of your bank account in the morrow's oh­gawd­that­vawdka­tho­hangover because they most certainly chopped a dollar or two off the top of your already outrageous tab. So I say, just WILL your less forewarned companions not to drag you anywhere near this shit sauna.
(Photo credit: Ruby Skye)

1. You Know Everyone, Everywhere

This is terrible. From the unsavory run­-ins with exes to the accidental IRL thirst traps ("Hey girl, I seen you on Tinder"), the fact that San Francisco is like forty people deep can be major "the fuck outta here" vibes. Most people go to clubs to lose themselves. Unfortunately, in San Francisco, losing yourself to music might mean finding yourself in your yoga instructor's lesbian cousin's dogwalker's dad's bed... Oh, and he also happens to be your landlord (and the rent is going up).

Laura Reilly welcomes your thirsty DMs on Twitter.

More From This Series:
10 Things I Hate About Clubbing in Los Angeles
10 Things I Hate About Clubbing in New York City
10 Things I Hate About Clubbing in London
10 Things I Hate About Clubbing in Toronto