A former speakeasy, the Dawn Club, will return to downtown San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s best-kept entertainment secrets was between the kitchen and service entrance next to the lavish Palace Hotel in the 1930s and 1940s — and now it’s slated to reopen.

The Dawn Club, described as an original speakeasy by the San Francisco Business Times, was a popular nightspot that hosted tap dancers, lounge singers and live bands, and even saw appearances by the famous music star. baseball Joe DiMaggio and the Lu Watters. Yerba Buena jazz band.

With support from prominent nightlife group Future Bars, the Dawn Club will reopen in its original home inside the Monadnock Building at the intersection of Annie and Market Streets, pending approvals from the historic curators of the town.

As a city once known internationally as the “world center of traditional jazz”, it seems like the time has come to resurrect the institution of jazz in a bid to revitalize nightlife and entertainment opportunities in a city center in difficulty.

A 1935 advertisement for the Dawn Club.

San Francisco Examiner

According to the Business Times, recent planning requests from owner Brian Sheehy include a new canopy overlooking Annie Street, modeled after the original Dawn Club marquee, which listed “dancing”, “cocktails” and “entertainment” to draw San Franciscans to the inside.

Now, the future 4,000 square foot jazz club will be packed with live entertainment at its original address of 10 Annie St.

SFGATE reached out to Sheehy, who wrote in an email that because the location is in a historic building, the band goes through a “very complex process.” He is seeking approval from the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Commission, including plans for new entrances and replacement of historic 1930s Dawn Club exterior signage.

“We are very excited about the rebirth of Dawn Club. We are still in the middle of the construction phase and do not expect to open due to planning delays until very late this year,” Sheehy wrote. “We have been working on this project for many, many years and we still have a long way to go.”

Sheehy told SFGATE that while Future Bars doesn’t yet have specific drink and music lineup details, and hasn’t hired its bar crew or bands for entertainment yet, it will have a much better understanding of the timeline after going through an upcoming schedule. Commission hearing.

Besides the local appeal, Sheehy told the Business Times that he hopes travelers and visiting conventions held inside the Palace Hotel and Ritz-Carlton properties across the street, as well as nearby St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels will naturally attract visitors. to enjoy an evening at the Dawn Club.

“When guests check into these high-end hotels, they’re going to ask where they need to go,” Sheehy told the Business Times. “It should be a natural reaction from the hotel staff to say, ‘Let’s make a reservation at the Dawn Club.’”

David H. Henry