June 13, 2024

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A 1930s-era SF jazz lounge, the Dawn Club, will see a revival downtown: Video, Photos

One of San Francisco’s best kept entertainment secrets used to be located between the kitchen and the service entrance next to the lavish Palace Hotel during the 1930s and ’40s — and now it’s slated to reopen.

With backing 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 city historic preservationists.

As a city once known internationally as the “traditional jazz center of the world,” it seems like the right time to resurrect the jazz institution in an effort to revitalize nightlife and entertainment opportunities in a struggling downtown.

A 1935 advertisement for the Dawn Club.
A 1935 advertisement for the Dawn Club. San Francisco Examiner

According to the Business Times, owner Brian Sheehy’s recent planning applications include a new awning overhanging Annie Street modeled after the Dawn Club’s original marquee, which listed “dancing,” “cocktails” and “entertainment” to entice San Franciscans indoors.

Now, the forthcoming 4,000-square-foot jazz club will once again burst with live entertainment at its original 10 Annie St. address.

SFGATE reached out to Sheehy, who wrote in an email that because the location is in a historic building the group is undergoing a “very intricate process.” Its seeking approval from the planning department historic preservation commission, including plans for new entryways and the replacement of the historic Dawn Club exterior signage from the 1930s.

“We are very excited about the revival of the Dawn Club. We are still in the midst of the construction phase though, and don’t expect to open due to City 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 although Future Bars does not have specific details on the beverage and music programming just yet, nor has it hired its bar crew or bands for entertainment, he will have a much better understanding of the timeline after they go through an upcoming Planning Commission hearing.

Besides the local draw, Sheehy told the Business Times that he hopes travelers and those visiting conventions hosted inside the Palace Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton establishments across the street, as well as the nearby St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels, will naturally beckon visitors to enjoy a night out at the Dawn Club.

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

The Monadnock Building will once again house the original Dawn Club, a jazz lounge and nightclub that first opened in the 1930s. 

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