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.  

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.)  

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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 

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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!

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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! 

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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. 

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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. 

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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:

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.