From unimpressed bouncers to scantily clad guest-list gals, after dark, venturing to San Francisco’s most elite nightclubs can sometimes be a weary task. First it is figuring out the night’s destination, and once you are past the difficult door (assuming you can get in), you wonder if the obstacle was even worth the wait? If you’re looking for an elite San Francisco club where you can drink and dance the night away without the toss-up, we’ve rounded up five of the best spots for you. Score the inside scoop on some of San Francisco’s most persnickety velvet ropes so you fly past the ropes and get the party started sans the hassle.
Brought to you by four-star chef Michael Mina, this swanky cocktail lounge is located off the hotel lobby in the Westin St. Francis in bustling downtown San Francisco. Those looking for an intimate, upscale bar sans the trend seekers, have come to the right place. The atmosphere is classy and sophisticated with dark wood, nice slick leather couches lining the exterior, and back-lit columns in the middle of the room. The crowd ranges from hotel guests to after-work power suits. Guests can enjoy top shelf bites (we hear the truffle popcorn is a must) at the bar, or the coffee tables until 2:00 A.M. Stop in for one of their signature cocktails handcrafted by Marco Dinoysus, a noted figure in San Francisco’s cocktail scene.
Clock Bar is located in the Westin Hotel at 335 Powell Street San Francisco, CA 94102 415.397.9222.
This perennially hip lounge, brought to you by hotel king Ian Schrager and designed by Philippe Starck is known for its gorgeous redwood paneling (made from one 2,000 year-old tree) and its trendsetting, contemporary crowd. The plush, modern spot tucked inside the Clift Hotel is continually buzzing with glam gals, chic party hoppers, and young businessmen ready to mingle. Join the well dressed and fabulous for an exotic fruit infused cocktail before heading next door to Asia de Cuba.
Redwood Room is located in the Clift Hotel at 495 Geary Street San Francisco, CA 415.775.4700.
San Francisco’s latest den of debauchery, Manor West, is not easy to be spotted. The only sign of night life is the velvet rope accompanied by a squad of gatekeepers guarding the newly opened club. Once you finagle your way inside San Francisco’s newest, most exclusive spot, you are greeted with three handmade chandeliers, an elevated VIP section, and a generous amount of space to boogie. Chill out near the bar or have a seat in the tables near the DJ booth, where a rubber-topped stage provides traction for all night dancing.
Manor West is located at 750 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA 415.407.4565.
This famed San Francisco spot, is downtown’s biggest and most glamorous venue to date. The extravagant ambiance (fire breathers, star DJs) is unlike any other Bay Area venue. Before its gig as a late night hip hub, the two-level dance venue served as a 1980s Victorian playhouse. Therefore, the décor consists of Art Nouveau trimmings from its previous life. Equipped with multiple bars, a VIP section, and a smoking room, Ruby Skye doesn’t fall short of entertainment and is the place to hit up for those looking to groove to the beats of renowned DJs or to chill out with a cocktail in hand.
Ruby Skye is located at 420 Mason Street San Francisco CA 415.693.0777.
This “hybrid venue” located in the heart of Union Square combines the elegance of fine dining and the energy of clubbing into one venue. Guests can groove to the mixes of Top 40 and hip hop while chowing down on globally influenced plates in the six thousand square- foot Asian inspired ultra lounge. The space features a private VIP room, dance floor, and renowned DJs spinning Thursday through Saturday. Be sure to arrive before 11:00 P.M. to avoid cover.
Infusion Lounge is located at 124 Ellis Street San Francisco CA 412.412.8700.