Related Articles: Bars, All

540 Club

A Taste of the Mission in the Richmond

With a nearly bottomless Internet jukebox that's received kudos from the SF Weekly as the "Best Jukebox in SF", free WiFi access, cover-charge free DJ nights, and late night drink specials, it's no wonder the 540 Club is the bar of choice for Richmond denizens who might otherwise be forced to venture out to the Mission when they wanted their libations served up with good music.

You'll walk in past the ample patio (its 4 small metal tables typically crowded with smokers or laptop users during the day), into a long narrow space decorated with posters that heralded previous tattoo art shows and Catholic School Karaoke theme parties. Both the bartenders and the regulars are friendly and relaxed, creating a welcoming environment reminiscent of hanging out in a friend¹s comfortable basement lounge.

The bar features 12 beers on tap, with prices ranging from $2 for PBR to $7 for Delirium Tremens (Belgian triple ale). Most drafts are $3.50 ($3 for happy hour) including Fat Tire, Prohibition, and Boont Amber. They also carry between 15 and 20 beers in bottles that change seasonally, priced at $3 for Budweiser, Bud Light, and Miller High Life (which they cheekily serve with a champagne flute, because "it is the champagne of beers") to $10 and $15 for 750ml bottles of premier beers such as Brother David and Delirium Nocturnum. Well cocktails are $3.50 ($3 for happy hour, and $1 from 10:00
p.m. to midnight on dollar Monday nights.)

Although the TVs behind the bar had the sound on for the presidential debates, on most days you're most likely to hear punk and indie rock tunes from the jukebox to serve as your soundtrack while watching movies projected soundlessly onto the back wall above the pool table. Evening hours entertainment includes DJs for theme nights, dart tournaments on Wednesdays, and the Smarty Pants Smackdown trivia quiz on Sundays.

In addition to their popular four-times-a-year theme parties (which annually include Catholic School Karaoke and Prom), the 540 Club has become a venue for other neighborhood events, including a Matt Gonzalez-organized party in support of Jake McGoldrick's re-election campaign, tattoo art and rock n' roll art exhibits, and a Chuck Klosterman reading in conjunction with Green Apple Books.