Welcome to Monarch, the new throne of San Francisco’s nightlife dynasty. This radically remodeled bi-level bar and nightclub located on the edge of SOMA encapsulates the shared vision of four deeply rooted industry veterans: Om Records label owner and founder Chris Smith; two time restaurateur, entrepreneur and award winning beverage director Tadd Cortell; Black Pancake Records owner and Triple Crown founder Manny Alferez/DJ M3; and Fernet Branca ambassador and nightlife event curator Micah Byrnes. Monarch takes over the corner of 6th and Mission as the rare multifunctional venue that is equally suited to an evening of sophisticated lounging and cocktailing, as to a night of music, movement and debauchery. (For butterflies, kings, and everyone in between.)
The first floor of Monarch is a ground level bar and lounge that dramatically mingles Steampunk, Victorian and Art Nouveau elements to exude a regal, mythological ambiance. At the entrance an intricate eight-foot partition of copper pipes and magnifying glasses welcomes guests to walk around it, peer through it, and discover the miniature images within. A massive Steampunk inspired sousaphone chandelier illuminates the long, refinished, antique redwood bar. Behind the bar, a fifteen-foot Art Nouveau mural with a massive oak frame peek-a-boos into the private lounge behind. In all, three Victorian-style parlor lounges, abundant in sensuous settees and chaises, create intimate areas around the main bar.
From the vintage redwood bar patrons indulge in generous pours that lack attitude. Creations like the Rickshaw, the Sixth St Reviver and the Kingmaker take the late cocktail trend in a relaxed, un-fussy direction while effortlessly incorporating quality and technique.
Guests with more ambitious evening desires can transition easily via front or back stairwells to the music-centric club experience below. The basement club oasis showcases a custom gold Void Acoustics audio system, poised to become one of the club’s most talked-about attractions and draw some of the worlds top DJ’s. This horn loaded European masterpiece is the first of its kind to be permanently installed on the West Coast and one of only three in America.
The wild luxury of the sub-level sound system is balanced by a sleek poured concrete bar and custom concrete DJ stand. Two recessed lounge areas with padded walls and ottomans keep the club area social while an elevated stage invites live performances and offers a spotlight for everyday exhibitionists.
Combining over 60 years of nightlife know-how, Monarch’s diverse partnership of club, bar, and music industry leaders has pioneered a new style of nightlife poised to flip the heart of SOMA on its gentrified lid. The launch is a dramatic turning point for the 6th Street corridor, which has made many improvements in recent years. The innovative and potent newness of Monarch will no doubt encourage more businesses to make their way into the area. In donating a portion of the door profits to benefit neighborhood causes, the founders of Monarch assure the community that they intend to set down roots, flourish in their concept and have a lasting, positive impact on the city they call home.