The Boarding House (nightclub)

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The Boarding House was a nightclub located at 960 Bush Street in San Francisco, California. Steve Martin's first three albums, Let's Get Small, A Wild and Crazy Guy, and Comedy Is Not Pretty were recorded there, in whole or in part. The club was also host to a multitude of musical acts, such as Dolly Parton, Patti Smith, Neil Young, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, Mason Williams, The Tubes, Talking Heads,[1] Old and in the Way, Randy Newman, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks,[2] Jim Croce, Harry Chapin and Tom Waits. British progressive rock group Camel played there on 6/26/76 in a performance that was broadcast on KSAN-FM, and cult favorites The Residents also first played there. Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno have said they first met at The Boarding House.[3]

Previous to the 1906 earthquake, the address was an apartment building called The Cecil.[4] After the earthquake and resulting fire, it was rebuilt as a theater and known by many names over the years, including the Kamokila, Fack's II,[5] The Royal Hawaiian Theater,[6] The Bush Street Music Hall, The Balalaika Music Hall, The Troubadour North,[7] in 1970, finally becoming The Boarding House in 1971. The building was torn down in July 1980 and replaced by condominiums.[8] A club with the same name was opened by owner Dave Allen[9] for a short time at 901 Columbus Ave in the city's North Beach district.


  1. ^ The Boarding House - Rock and Roll Roadmaps
  3. ^ (The Ellen Show, aired 01/29/2014)
  4. ^ Re: the boarding house/steve martin
  5. ^ Vince Guaraldi at the Piano By Derrick Bang
  6. ^ Club Royal Hawaiian, San Francisco, CA (restaurant) -- Tiki Central
  7. ^ "The Troubadour North, opened in 1970, was owned by Doug Weston, who also owned the Hollywood folk and rock institution, The Troubadour." Boarding House, 960 Bush St., San Francisco, CA
  8. ^ Perkins, Laura. Bulldozers raze the building at 960 Bush St., the site of the Boarding House entertainment venue, leaving a hole to be filled with more condominiums. Boarding House owner David Allen says he plans to reopen the popular club at 901 Columbus Ave. July 25 with Lily Tomlin. Chronicle's archives: 1980 July 8, 2005
  9. ^ Miller, Johnny Nightclub owner David Allen dies in 1984, May 24, 2009

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37°47′23″N 122°24′47″W / 37.78968°N 122.41316°W / 37.78968; -122.41316