The Definitive List of Santa Rosa Live Music Venues

Santa Rosa loves itself some live music. It’s everywhere. From cafés and pubs to big theaters and street corners. For music lovers, the only real question around here is, “How do you find the music you will love most?” Well, the team at Out There Santa Rosa, with a little help from KRCB radio, and local music expert Isabelle Garson, is here to help. Below you’ll find, as far as we know, the only comprehensive list of Santa Rosa’s live music venues. To make it easy, we’ve broken it into four sections:

  • Get Down – Places to kick up your heels and cut a rug
  • Eat Up – Great live music with a side of something yummy
  • Rock Out – Venues to catch a live show that moves you
  • Tune In – The side of the SR music scene the locals know

Of course, these are just the venues. If you want to learn about current and upcoming shows, here are a few options. You can check out KRCB’s music calendar. Sign up here to get a weekly newsletter of live music events in Santa Rosa from Second Octave. And tune in to Brian on the Radio from 9-12 weekdays on KRCB for “the Best Rundown in Town!”

OK, it’s time to lace up your dancing shoes and hit the list.

By:
Susy Dugan

Photos:
Philip Pavliger




The Flamingo

This classy, iconic and kind of retro resort and spa has a ballroom, lounge, and a busy calendar of live bands, DJ’s and dance lessons. Their restaurant attached to the Lounge, The Terrace Grill is open until 9 pm. Check out their menu here. If you want to learn how to salsa, or bachata with the pros, this is a hip, premier spot.  

WEBSITE

The Lounge at La Rosa 

The upstairs counterpart to La Rosa Restaurant and Bar, The Lounge is a top-of-the-line DJ dance club, spinning club bangers from 9 pm to 2 am every Friday and Saturday, with many recent additions to their event calendar. Muralled walls, multiple bars, VIP bottle service, a large wrap around 2nd story balcony, pro lighting, and a club-wide surround-sound system…La Rosa has it going on. There is a dress code, so keep the ball caps and t-shirts at home.

WEBSITE

Casa Del Mar 

Tucked into the corner of Stony Point and Dutton, Casa Del Mar is dedicated to bringing authentic Mexican food, music and hospitality to Santa Rosa. The club is open 10 pm – 2 am Thursday through Sunday with a different flavor every night. Thursday has special events, Friday there are Bay area DJs, Saturday is Mexican night and the weekend ends with Variety Sundays. Come for the food and stay for the music!

WEBSITE

Remy’s Bar and Grille 

During the day, it’s a sleek sports bar and grille. But when the weekend rolls through, Remy’s transforms into a happening dance, hip-hop club. Every Friday is Latin night and Saturday is Hip Hop DJ night with local favorites and Bay Area DJ’s. Remy’s rolls out some big hip-hop and R&B names about once every couple of months, so keep an eye out for their announcements. It’s totally worth the wait. 

WEBSITE

The Roseland Village Neighborhood Center is also home to the annual Roseland Cinco de Mayo Festival!! An alcohol and smoke-free event and one of the biggest parties in Santa Rosa. Dozens of vendors, games and big activities for kids, dancing and live music all day. The event is free and draws thousands of people, “celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Unity”. Truly a sight to behold. 

WEBSITE


Toad in the Hole 

This super-cool British-style pub is open Noon-Midnight, and 2 am Friday and Saturday. Taking pride in choosing the best craft beers and ciders, the kitchen (yum!) serves up only traditional British pub food and is open until 10 pm. Stop by for quiz night, watch the game, hear local music, or just dig the cozy scene. The Toad tries its luck in theater in the summer, when it spills out onto the 4th Street and turns into the silliest outdoor theater, Mostly Python, a Monty Python-inspired extravaganza of music, food, and foolishness.

WEBSITE

Mission Kitchen and Bar 

Opened under new ownership in December 2017, Mission Kitchen and Bar is on the Northeast side of route 12 near Howarth Park and Rincon Valley. Breakfast lunch and dinner, tri-tip, burgers, tacos, fried chicken, brats – MKB puts a gourmet spin on all our favorite comfort food. This classic neighborhood spot has a live DJ on Friday, and live music every other Saturday. Karaoke fans, check in with MKB, they’re known to throw down from time to time.

WEBSITE

Gaia’s Garden 

This buffet-style vegetarian restaurant on Mendocino Avenue serves delicious, healthy food in a culturally-rich venue and hosts music at least once a week. The comfortable intimate setting welcomes everyone, and unless noted, there’s no cover or admission charges. (Note to self: if you dig the tunes, please tip the artists.)  

WEBSITE

Moonlight
Brewing Company
 

The “humble little taproom” is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays 1 pm to 9 pm, and Sunday 1 pm to 8 pm. The Creator of Death and Taxes, a really popular (and recently canned!) San Francisco-Style Black Lager, also occasionally hosts live music. 

WEBSITE

Aroma Roasters Café

Located directly on Historic Railroad Square, Aroma has an expansive, creative drink menu, sandwiches and bites, and a bakery case full of fresh desserts. They also have a long tradition of free live music. You can find laid back live tunes there 8:30 – 11 pm every Friday & Saturday night. All shows are free with a drink or food purchase. 

WEBSITE

Brew Coffee & Beer House

An SR icon, Brew pours beers, coffee, bites, tunes and local love from 7am-9 or 10pm. There are 10 rotating taps with all craft beers and cider from near and far as well as rotating entertainment, art gallery and Tuesday Open Mic.  

WEBSITE

The Local Barrel 

Near the corner of 7th and Mendocino, you’ll find Local Barrel serving regionally-sourced beer and wine in a fun, welcoming atmosphere. 20+ beers on tap, 7 wines on tap, and (yay) cider. Live, free music plays every Sunday at 5, and occasionally Friday or Saturday. To see what’s happening visit them on facebook or follow them on Instagram.

FACEBOOK

La Rosa Restaurant & Bar

Aside from being a great dance party destination, La Rosa has an incredible traditional Mexican inspired menu, the largest tequila selection in town, and the same attention to detail with art and décor as its upstairs neighbor. Kitchen closes at 10, so get there early! If you would like to read more about what makes La Rosa so special, click here.

WEBSITE


The Krush
Backyard Concerts
 

Presented by Wine Country Radio 

A free, outdoor summer concert series featuring music from far and wide (but a lot from here in your own backyard). Doors are at 5:30 pm, shows start at 6 pm, all shows are FREE! You’ll want to bring low lawn chairs or blankets, kids are welcome, but please leave pets at home. Beer, wine and food is available so please don’t bring coolers. Less coolers = more comfy people!

WEBSITE

Rock Star University
House Of Rock
 

With a 1,000 square foot stage and catwalk, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and its own recording studio, House of Rock is the new kid on the block, and clearly ready to party. You can choose sofa lounge seating, bistro bar table seating, bar bench seating or general admission. House of Rock is a very professional and stylish event space available for rent, as well as host to a wide variety of local show and nationally touring acts…with a focus on, you guessed it, Rock ‘n’ Roll.

WEBSITE

Live at Juilliard 

This free concert series, brought to you by The City of Santa Rosa, brings some of the Bay Area’s finest bands to Juilliard Park. Pack a picnic or purchase food from one of the many vendors. This series is outdoors, so bring blankets, chairs and sunblock! Juilliard Park is in the SOFA Arts District, so be sure to explore the unique, quirky neighborhood. 100% solar powered. 

WEBSITE

Luther Burbank Center 

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is the North Bay’s premier arts and events center presenting world-class performances, nationally-recognized education programs, contemporary visual art, and many popular community events. LBC has many beautiful rooms of all sizes for shows and to rent for your own event.

WEBSITE

Wednesday Night Market 

Now in its 30th year, this is one of Santa’s Rosa’s most popular outdoor events, featuring freshly farmed fruits, veggies and herbs, prepared foods, handcrafted gifts, beer, wine and much more. They host a wide variety of live music every Wednesday night 5:00-8:30pm, from the first week in May and into the fall. Hundreds gather to stroll, shop and dance at this free all-ages event. For more info please visit 

WEBSITE

Grace Pavilion

at Sonoma County Fairgrounds

The fairgrounds host events and activities of all types and sizes, including two of their biggest events, Country Summer, a 3-day country music festival (one of the biggest in northern California!) and The Emerald Cup, one of California’s leading organic marijuana competitions and two-day music festival, happening every December. 

WEBSITE

Montgomery Village 

The shopping center on Farmer’s Lane hosts free live concerts every weekend through the summer. Catch their Sunday Terrace Concerts from 1-4pm, and free Rockin Concert Series from Noon til 3pm every Saturday, from June through October.  

WEBSITE



The Last Record Store 

Open for business until 8pm seven days a week, The Last Record Store regularly hosts shows curated by the staff and owners of this music lover’s haven. 

WEBSITE

Glaser Center 

This downtown event and conference hall hosts a wide variety of concerts, lectures, seminars and more. This year Glaser Center is also a host for some Santa Rosa Junior College Performances!

WEBSITE

Arlene Francis Center :

For Spirit, Art and Politics

This multi-faceted cultural center, named after the female television pioneer Arlene Francis, sits in between Historic Railroad Square and the West End Neighborhood. It is open year-round, providing a space for concerts, classes, galleries, discussions, coffee and more. Open mic every Wednesday! 

WEBSITE

Whiskey Tip  

The go-to bar, restaurant, venue and dance club in the Roseland Neighborhood, this indoor/outdoor spot has shows nearly every weekend. Hip hop, reggae, DJ’s, burlesque and more, at a reasonable door fee. Whiskey Tip is always pushing for great shows and variety. 

WEBSITE

West End
Farmer’s Market
 

WEFM has everything you’d hope to find in a local farmer’s market, plus live free music each week, curated by a new local artist every month.  Sundays 9:30 am to 2 pm at Railroad Park in Historic Railroad Square. Starting April 2nd until November 27th. 

WEBSITE

Santa Rosa
Junior College
 

With an Orchestra, award winning Jazz Band, Choir, Chamber Singers, and renowned Theater Arts, SRJC has a calendar full of live entertainment. See all info about performances here:

WEBSITE

Cooperage
Brewing Company
 

Featuring their own unique menu of homebrewed specialty beers, Cooperage Brewing Company hosts live music occasionally and for special events. Check their Facebook page for upcoming shows.

WEBSITE

Atlas Coffee 

This is THE Java spot in the SOFA arts district of central Santa Rosa. Aside from its high- quality joe, Atlas has a beautiful outdoor patio, outdoor stage, gallery featuring local artists, and small room for intimate concerts. 

FACEBOOK

Railroad Square
Music Festival
 

Quickly becoming an SR tradition, RSMF is one of the largest and most loved events in town. Returning in 2019 for its fifth year, it’s a free all-day concert and vendor market with multiple stages, packed with Bay Area talent, and lots of surprises. For info, videos, photos of past years, and plans for this summer visit.

WEBSITE

We hope you enjoyed this thorough gallivant though Santa Rosa’s tune-yard. We at Out There will continue to search, explore and report, as the journey pushes onward, always and perpetually, on the quest, for MORE GREAT MUSIC! Stay tuned for our upcoming venue series, and thank you for supporting local live music

And finally, some parting words from our resident music maven Josh Windmiller.


THE OUT THERE TAPES

Welcome aboard local melody mavens, this is your SR Sessions ambassador speaking. We’ll be taking off momentarily, and we’re expecting a rollicking ride through the Santa Rosa music scene. So, unfasten your seatbelts and feel free to dance around the cabin. You’re about to soar to the local sounds of “The Out There Tapes: A Compilation by Gremlintone”.
Look, listen, learn and download below. But don’t forget to get out there to see these great performers live at your local venue.
And thank you for flying Out There, we hope you enjoy your trip.


“Since you’ve been Gone” by The Easy Leaves

Sonoma County musicians Sage Fifield (Guitar/Vocals) and Kevin Carducci (Bass/ Vocals) keep trucking on with their sweet country sound. Their most recent album, affectionately named “Fresno” released on Omega/Redeye, reflects their love for the laid back scene they found in the central California ag-town. They’re playing a string of West Coast shows this summer, but you can catch them in Sonoma County, at Rivertown Revival in Petaluma on July 22.

“Got to Have It” by Arann Harris

After stepping away from performing for 2016, Arann Harris recently snuck back onto the scene for a few choice gigs, and made a trip to Gremlintone. This rare and anticipated track is a visit from a major player in the local scene, who is sorely missed but far from gone! The track stays true to Harris’s mixture of chilling blues and gritty soul. Bringing the energy, poetry and wicked guitar licks that we all love.

 

“Sad and Lonesome” by The Brothers Comatose

“Sad and Lonesome” is a rompous ode to the songs that pull you out of the blues. Maybe this foot stompin’ five-piece bluegrass tune will be your new hot-summer pick me up. Petaluma natives Ben and Alex Morrison, on guitar, banjo and lead vocals, Gio Benedetti on bass, Philip Brezina shredding fiddle and Ryan Avellone topping it off with mandolin; their next nearby performance is in San Rafael on July 8 at San Rafael Summer Nights.

“Witness, Witness, Witness” by The Crux

Been wondering, “Where is The Crux?”? Well, now that band leader Josh Windmiller is done directing the Railroad Square Music Festival, Santa Rosa will be seeing more of one of their favorite bands. Voted best folk band by The Bohemian reader’s poll 3 times since their formation, The Crux’s most recent album Crux Interpretum (Aug/2016), was recorded to cassette tape at John Courage’s Gremlintone analog studio. You can catch them this summer at Rivertown Revival in Petaluma on July 22.

“Wandering Woman” by Ashley Allred

Nostalgic, Ethereal, and deep with feeling, song writer Ashley Allred previously of Odd Bird, rocks you into a dream-like tune from the road. Written and performed by Ashley Allred and John Courage; the track gives a sweet taste of their unique and polished vintage style. Ashley will be at Rivertown Revival on July 22 with a full band, and look out for her new album! Set to be recorded in October at Gremlintone.

 

 “I Can’t Be There” by Frankie Boots

Frankie Boots and The County line = good times. This raucus folk-rock Americana band has been missed, while Frank gets his feet wet in New Orleans. But Frank’s in town, and this song hits the spot. By the time you read this he’ll already be gone, but you can still hear his latest album Pagan Ranch, released in January 2017. A “solo album of 8 Country/Soul heart-warmers” produced at Gremlintone, and recorded while Boots packed his bags for Louisiana.

 

“Oh Mama” by David Luning

David Luning was raised in Forestville, but has been doing big things countrywide (and getting into trouble by the sounds of it). This summer he’ll be touring the West Coast with his new album “Restless”. If you’re a fan of rock, bluegrass, country combo you’ll love this album. He’ll be back in California at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco on June 23.

 

 “Serenity Day Spa” by Sean Hayes

On this track, Hayes shows his grittier side, with John Courage accompanying him on electric guitar. But his newest album “Low Light” released in August 2016, is full of slow-jam rock grooves and soul singing. A long time rocker in the Bay Area, with an 8 album discography that starts in 2002.  You can catch him all summer, but he’ll be in Sonoma, at Gundlach Bundschu Winery on August 5.

 

 “Why Don’t You Love Me No More” by Bootleg Honey

This 5 piece, country/grass, female led group steals hearts everywhere they go. They released new tunes at their last show, with Gwyneth Moreland, and welcomed back founding member Hannah Jern-Miller to the Bootleg Honey lineup! They packed The Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, and blew the house down. So, we can all look forward to more of that this summer!

 

 “Two Feet” by John Courage

John Courage has been steadily rocking in the Bay Area for over 10 years, with visits to the Pacific Northwest and Santa Fe, New Mexico. His love for vintage, 70’s guitar rings true throughout his 3 album discography. Courage is not only a featured artist, but the creator and audio engineer at Gremlintone studio. As the loved and revered musician he is, Courage was invited to sit in with Ashley Allred, Sean Hayes, Bootleg Honey, Timothy O’Neil Band, and Arann Harris, in the recording of this compilation. Catch him on July 14 at The Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, with The Highway Poets!

 

“Greyhound Days” by Misner and Smith

Megan Smith on upright bass and vocals, Sam Misner on guitar and vocals, and Josh Yenne on pedal steel guitar; Misner and Smith bring to the Americana-folk musical tradition, vivid imagery, poetic lyrics and sweet vocal harmonies. But, story telling is at the base of what ties this group together. Meeting first as actors, it was performing in “Woody Guthrie’s American Song” in 2004 that brought Sam and Megan together, in their love for roots music and harmony singing. This musical bond is a beautiful sight to behold, and you can catch the soulful duo ‘round these parts at The Redwood Café, in Cotati on July 7.

 

 “Fifteen Cents” by Thistle Creek

Sounding just like an old time blue grass tune, this track will satisfy the fans with a taste for porch sittin and banjo pickin.  Written and played by Imri Vasale, accompanied by Allyson Makuch on vocals; Thistle Creek can’t be found on the internet, but only playing at friends houses, street corners and Farmer’s Markets. But that’s how blue grass is best enjoyed, in the living room, with fellow pickers and someone playing a set of dirty spoons left over from dinner.

 

“Places” by Timothy O’Neil Band

These guys are ready to party, busy playing gigs all over the bay area. With a folk-punk, bluegrass sound, they are on a steady incline and playing with some of the area’s leading artists. If you feel like getting rowdy with this crew you’ll find them at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol on June 16, with Mr. December and Josh Windmiller from The Crux. Also, at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco, where Tim will be performing solo, opening up for his buddy David Luning on June 23.

 

Out There in the Middle of Everything will continue to cover exciting new music, art and culture happening in and around Santa Rosa. See us at the next big event, visit our website for exciting articles and updates, and reach out to let us know what you love about this great city!

Get the CD at your favorite SR record store:

Or order it online at the Out There store!