Live music is returning to Potrero Hill, with Thee Parkside and Bottom of the Hill planning shows for this summer.
Thee Parkside doesn’t have an official “welcome back to live music” event scheduled but is preparing for performances for a yet determined August date. Who the players will be isn’t known. The bar and grill isn’t sure what safety precautions will be required.
“We all can’t wait for the room to be filled with our friends,” owner Malia Spanyol said.
“We all need to get back to live music, gathering, and joy,” Bottom of the Hill co-owner Lynn Schwarz echoed.
On August 13 Bottom of the Hill will have its soft opening followed by a grand resurrection August 14. Performers will include Top Secret Robot Alliance, Electric Machine Gun Tits, and DJ Sid Presley.
“I wanted a low-maintenance show because we will all be out of practice: bands, staff, management, and customers,” Schwarz said. “Both the bands I chose are two-piece and the kindest folks you could possibly know in SF. I also wanted it to have personal meaning to us. I have worked very closely with all five performers over the years, the two bands and the DJ, and they are all truly friends of mine and the venue.”
The headlining band, Top Secret Robot Alliance, donated to Bottom of the Hill staff members during the pandemic. The DJ would stop by Schwarz’s house with free meals from his family’s food truck, Satay by the Bay.
“The final and most important reason for these particular bands is that they all inspire happiness, and that’s something that we will need to overcome the fear of being back in a crowded environment,” Schwarz said. “They are perhaps the most fun local bands we have … And the DJ Sid Presley will play garage/surf tunes that also get you shaking your hips.”
Safety precautions are still evolving, but Bottom of the Hill and Thee Parkside will follow Centers for Disease Control and California Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards and health guidance. Bottom of the Hill plans to upgrade its sanitation stations, ventilation system, and will accept credit cards after a decade of being cash-only.
“But I am cognizant of the fact that in our line of work, we host touring bands from other states and countries, so we have to be extra careful we do not become a breeding ground for another coronavirus spike,” Schwarz added. “I have plans to meet with other venue operators in this City to discuss trying to create industry standards we all agree to adhere to in the near future.”
Reopening plans could be scrapped if there’s a sudden spike in COVID-19 variants that aren’t warded off by vaccines.
“I do fear this a lot, and hate to get overly confident,” Schwarz said. “I hope that this whole time period points to how fragile our arts ecosystem truly is and creates the needed change for all arts to start thriving past this horror. We want our most special City to mirror other cities that value their arts culture as integral a part of life as the air we breathe.”
Bottom of the Hill hosts roughly 300 shows a year; www.bottomofthehill.com. Visit Thee Parkside’s website at www.theeparkside.com.