Best Open Mic Venues in the Peninsula
7 Mile House Sports Bar & Grill
2800 Bayshore Blvd.
Brisbane, CA 94005
This 160-year-old landmark is California's last "Mile House" still in its original location. It started life as a waystation for the stagecoach to change horses, and over the decades it has harbored villains and vixens, moonshiners, bikers and gamblers. These days it's a popular music and sports hangout where Niners fans flock to share cheer or gloom. Open mic jam at 7 Mile House falls on the first Thursday of the month and runs from 8 p.m. - midnight. All styles of music are welcome, so if you're interested, sign up when you arrive for the chance to perform three songs or for 15 minutes. There's also open mic karaoke on Wednesdays from 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. Check Facebook for open mic night specials.
23 Visitacion Avenue
Brisbane, CA 94005
Back in the day, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jerry Lee Lewis, Patsy Cline, and Carl Perkins were just the tip of the list of top acts that played here. 23 Club is a Bay Area icon, thick with tradition and atmosphere. The club has had its ups and downs in the past decade, but with new management, a new chef and a high-powered musician in charge of the bookings, the great vibe is on the rise again. Open mic at 23 Club can be found on the first Wednesday of every month from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., and while all styles are welcome, you'll see a lot of acoustic and electric performances. Sets generally last around 20 minutes, and there's no cover to watch the performers.
Hola Mexican Restaurant and Cantina
1015 Alameda de las Pulgas
Belmont, CA 94002
What makes a Mexican restaurant great? Good, fresh food to start, but when you add in 100 brands of tequila and a lengthy beer and wine list, then toss in a weekly open mic with musicians from throughout the Bay Area, you've got something special going on. This crowd is making something special happen. The weekly open mic night at Hola Mexican Restaurant and Cantina can be found on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. All styles of music, from acoustic to electric are welcome and the cantina even provides an amp and drums for the performers. Check Facebook for weekly open mic specials, which range from extended happy hour pricing to a percentage off your meal.
Angelica's Bell Theatre and Bistro
863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Cute, quaint, pleasant, funky, good food, micro-brews and WiFi are just a few adjectives that describe Angelica's Bell Theatre. This pleasant bistro-setting gets all-around good marks as a place that reflects the hopes of owners Peter and Angelica Cushieri. They're goal was to establish a gathering place to enjoy food and get a sense of the local sound, and they've accomplished it here. Every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., jazz, blues, rock folk, bluegrass, reggae, R&B, country and Latin acoustics fill the air at open mic night. Angelica's provides the stage, three mics and a grand piano, so the sounds can't be beat. If you're looking to perform here, be sure to get to the bistro by 6:30 or 8:15 to sign up.
1410 S Cabrillo Hwy
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This 100-year-old inn has seen it all, including a stint as an Army mess hall, a few incarnations as a house of ill repute, and a prohibition-era nightclub with slot action run by Al Capone's sister. The venue is tamer now, and considerably more family friendly as owner Cameron Parker has turned it into a British pub with restaurant, bar, small inn and RV park. Enjoy the music with a burger or banger, and while you're there, be sure to check out the famous 2000 (and growing) cans of beer on the wall. The first Thursday of every month welcomes all ages and musical genres out to perform on the two mic PA from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sign in starts at 6:30 p.m. and there's no cover.
Related: Best Live Latin Music In South Bay
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Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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