Nightlife and Entertainment

Belden Place - San Francisco Travel Association photoSan Francisco’s nightlife and entertainment sector – which includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs, live music venues, and other performance spaces – is an integral part of the City’s fabric. Nightlife and entertainment businesses attract residents and visitors to our diverse neighborhoods and provide social spaces that are critical to the development of our unique and vibrant cultural life. San Francisco’s legendary music scene has launched countless acclaimed artists across a variety of genres.

Nightlife isn’t just a cultural benefit; it’s also a major economic driver. According to a 2016 economic impact report conducted by the Office of the Controller, the nightlife sector in San Francisco is comprised of over 3,500 businesses—employing over 60,000 people. The sector accounts for roughly $6 billion in spending by 80 million customers every year. In 2015 alone, the nightlife sector contributed roughly $80 million in payroll and sales taxes to the City’s General Fund.

San Francisco nightlife businesses also contribute to the local economy by supporting other local businesses. A 2012 Controller study found that the nightlife sector spent approximately $1.6 billion in local supplies and services in 2010, including $670 million on local food manufacturers and wholesalers, $580 million on local beverage distributors, $110 million on musicians and other performers, and $260 million on other local service providers.

OEWD’s NightlifeSF initiative supports the growth of San Francisco’s nightlife and entertainment industry by working with City and industry stakeholders to advance a strategy with the following components:

  1. Connecting San Francisco nightlife and entertainment businesses to City resources;
  2. Supporting legislative and policy developments to advance nightlife and entertainment;
  3. Advocating for the development of new nightlife and entertainment spaces and support existing spaces and venues;
  4. Building awareness of the nightlife and entertainment industry locally and among tourists; and
  5. Supporting improvements in late-night transportation.

A wealth of OEWD resources to assist the nightlife industry are available at

For more information and assistance, please contact Benjamin Van Houten, Business Development Manager, at or 415.554.7038.