The sprawling fortress at the corner of 11th and Folsom has a long history of short-lived incarnations (the Oasis, Club O, 278 11th St, etc.). Taking it from tony nightspot to down-home disco to hip-hop club and back again, a variety of owners have tried unsuccessfully to turn what should be a prime SOMA location into a viable venue. Keeping the checkered past of the building in mind, new co-owner Tony Siress, formerly a software marketer, decided to consult the community to help him design a gay-oriented nightclub, eventually dubbed V/SF. He published an open letter in B.A.R., Odyssey, and other papers that asked lesbian and gay clubgoers what they wanted in atmosphere, nightly events, and music. "We were overwhelmed with e-mail and voice mail," says general manager Gerard O'Brien, "all from people concerned with what is missing from S.F. nightlife. Their top three suggestions were restricted smoking, courteous staff, and to have a consistent gay space they could call home instead of different events on different nights." Siress hired designer Michael Brennan (Elka, Paragon), who combined a glam 1930s motif with industrial accents. "This is definitely not your average warehouse space," O'Brien says. "We're trying to put the romance back in going out." V/SF opens Saturday, Dec. 2; call 621-1530.
If you're wondering why you haven't heard much from Earth First! lately, it's because activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney are busy suing the FBI for allegedly framing them for a 1990 bombing. But on Saturday, Dec. 2, Cherney will perform at Komotion International (2779 16th St) at a book-release party for Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution. Edited by Ron Sakolsky and Fred Wei-Han Ho for Autonomedia, it features authors like Andrew Goodwin, Joe Gore, Negativland, Jean Smith, and Billy Bragg and comes with a CD. Call 861-6423.
Mangia, Tony, Mangia!
Despite the seedy location -- the corner of 20th Street and Mission -- and the somewhat jarring Italian-trattoria-meets-Denny's interior, the grand reopening of Bruno's proved a formidable affair. Business owners from throughout the Mission, club and bar VIPs from such far-ranging sites as Townsend, Bimbo's, and Club 181, and the inevitable hipsters turned out in full force last Friday night to toast San Francisco's newest supper club. Although the piano lounge was still under construction and few of us made it past the booze to sample the food, one gourmand, Italian no less, remarked, "Hey, this is the sort of place I could eat at every night."
By Sia Michel, Silke Tudor