Best Piano Bar - 2002
If everything old is new again, then Martuni's may once again be considered cutting-edge. Considered the anti-karaoke bar, Martuni's has become a playful spot for San Francisco's moderately to extraordinarily talented singers to show off their chops among friends. If you've ever imagined what Cheers would be like set to music, Martuni's is a must-visit. The music is mellow, the musicians take all requests (generally classic jazz and show tunes), and anyone with a good ear and a decent voice is invited to grab the mike and make his dreams to be a lounge singer come true. While the experience is a definite improvement on listening to a dozen drunken Britney Spears wannabes sing "Hit Me Baby One More Time" until you're tempted to, Martuni's isn't always first-rate entertainment. A few hours into the night and even here jazz singers can become a little saucy, creating lyrics for standards unheard of by the original composers. Still, when the night is young -- and the divas on point -- the combination of a smooth merlot, some smoky jazz, and friendly faces may very well satiate the artist in your soul.