Can one person drink at every bar in San Francisco?

Martuni’s – SOMA

Martuni’s is actually in a weird between neighborhood, not quite Mission, SOMA or Hayes Valley, but very close to all three. It is also somewhat between the Castro and my home, which is how I came to be at the bar late one night this week. This was my first time at Martuni’s when it was not packed with patrons, and it was nice to take in everything at my leisure.

Being in Martuni’s makes me feel like I’m at a Hollywood bar in the 1940’s. I ordered a Campari and soda and found a spot next to the grand piano, enjoying the lounge-y vibe and hoping to take a turn at the mic.To my dismay, the only sheet music the piano player will let patrons see is a small book of old Broadway tunes, not really the best for my voice. To sing one has to spend several minutes asking her what songs she knows, (causing an awkward silence in the music,) in our case only to be turned down every time. While I was there only one person was able to sing, and she was a regular who knew the player’s repertoire, so we had to listen to the piano player sing song after song while the crowd looked longingly at the microphone.

Lesson learned. Always bring your own sheet music. And for the record, I understand why she wouldn’t want drunks pawing her expensive sheet music, but a list of songs would be a great help to hopeful crooners.


4 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 241-0205

One response

  1. Peter Smith

    i have a different take on this place. i kinda love it. the people who do get to sing are usually excellent, so the pruning of talent is being done right, and i like that a lot.

    and i don’t think the silences are awkward — i love them. maybe just me.

    April 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

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