Best New Live Venue

Who says there's no such thing as life after death? For several years, the 1914-era former mortuary at 777 Valencia St. sat dormant, waiting as the surrounding neighborhood experienced an infusion of vitality. In the fall of 2012, it finally rose from the grave. Thanks to local restaurateur Jack Knowles, the elegant old Tudor-style building became the Chapel, the city's newest and finest midsize venue (soon it'll be a full-blown restaurant, too). With high ceilings, envious acoustics, red-painted walls, and smart bookings, the place quickly leaped to the forefront of S.F. clubs. Its stage has since gracefully hosted a plethora of talent, from local folk-rock weirdos to the likes of comedian Dave Chappelle. And it's also the official West Coast home of New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band. As fans of the clear sightlines, crisp sound, and its two, well-stocked bars, we're very pleased this stately old building found a second life.

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