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Uncovering The Basement, The TL's Newest Nightspot

Cocktails, comedy, and soon, clubbing.

The Tenderloin continues to boom with new restaurants and bars, the latest of which is The Basement, in the former 222 Club at Hyde and Turk. It's owned by nightclub vet Larry Livingston (Palladium), who says he acquired the space in part because of its history: from 1949 to 1963, it served as the green room of the Black Hawk, the legendary SF jazz club that played host to the likes of Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Thelonious Monk. (Sadly, the Black Hawk itself is now a parking lot.)

The space features a narrow bar on the ground floor and a cavernous basement below, which Livingston has outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system. He'll host DJ nights there on weekends once he gets his entertainment license, but for now, he's playing host to comedy events, including a weekly Thursday open mic comedy night (signups begin at 6 pm) and some upcoming events with Oakland's Laugh City.

On the booze side of things, The Basement still only has beer and wine (Livingston is working on full liquor), but they've made the most of it with a big selection of infused sojus in 12 different flavors, from vanilla to ginger to watermelon, as well as soju and Champagne cocktails. Eight drafts come from the likes of Goose Island, Dogfish Head, and Lagunitas, and there's a small selection of bottled brews and wine as well, with more to come. Happy hour runs until 8 pm daily, with $2 off cocktails and $1 off beer; they'll also give a free soju shot to anyone who checks in on Yelp.

The Basement doesn't have a full kitchen, but is planning to add small bites in a month or so, with options like mini-pizzas, sliders, and pretzels. Hours are currently Tuesday-Wednesday, 6 pm-12 am; Thursday-Friday, 6 pm-2 am; and Saturday, 7 pm-2 am. As the club's offerings grow, Livingston hopes to add service on Sunday and Monday as well.