Best Place to Impersonate a Torch Singer - 2001
The Tenderloin is famous for many things, but a piano lounge with class is not one of them. That's why the Lush Lounge is a much-needed shot in the arm for a neighborhood reputed more for its prostitutes than for its posh watering holes. The 1-year-old lounge, co-owned by bartenders Steve Black and Kenny Meade, blends retro-Hollywood glamour and modern comfort, with acerbic movie-star quotes on the walls, lush foliage hanging from the ceiling, and a TV above the bar showing Hollywood classics like Viva Las Vegas or Walk on the Wild Side. Best of all, the lounge features the nimble fingers and smooth voice of pianist Larry O'Leno, whose repertoire ranges from the most obscure Gershwin tunes to Neil Diamond. O'Leno also is willing to share the spotlight with Black and Meade, both accomplished crooners who belt out tunes when they're not slinging drinks, and just about anyone who wanders in and wants to showcase his pipes -- as long as he don't cop a 'tude.