Because internet jukeboxes are seriously the worst, it's important to keep track of and celebrate all those local dives and restaurants that have kept up the good fight and held onto the old fashioned record or CD-based machines instead of getting totally cheap/greedy about it like some (we're looking at you, Kilowatt, Silver Spur, and Pilsner Inn.) The art of jukebox curation is a dying one, and sometimes the charm of an old machine is that the collection's been untouched for decades and offers a brief sense of time travel to the era it remains trapped in. Thankfully, at a handful of places around the city, the art is still being kept alive and/or the machines are still getting regular repairs despite the easy fallback of a Spotify playlist, and here we bring you SFist's favorites.

15 Romolo
A jukebox stronghold off an alley in North Beach, with good drinks and eats to boot (and a boozy Punch Drunk Brunch on Sundays), 15 Romolo gets props for its machine, which could potentially make your night for just $20 (the machine says it gives 7 plays for $2, which also isn't bad). — Jay Barmann
15 Romolo Place, near Broadway


Perhaps The City’s only jukebox offering Mac Dre's Back N Da Hood Recorded Live from Fresno County Jail alongside Dolly Parton Super Hits, the Bender's jukebox also features a range of soul, post-punk and Hendrix for your pool-playing or Leather Tongue Video sign contemplating enjoyment. — Joe Kukura
806 South Van Ness St., at 19th St.

Photo via Churchill

What will you find on the jukebox at five-year-old Churchill, at the corner of Church, 14th, and Market? Some Prince, some Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a bit of 90's rap (Camp Lo, anyone), some Dirty South. The place can be very loud and crowded, especially in the happy hour range and one weekends, so good luck being able to hear anything you play unless you're there on the early side or on a Sunday, and the bartenders also turn the thing off when it's busy too. But for a lot of people who like this place and its solid classic cocktails, the jukebox keeps them coming back too. — Jay Barmann
198 Church Street at Market

Doc's Clock
Indeed, Doc's Clock won't be exactly as it is now pretty soon, since we heard a couple months back that the bar will need to move down the street because their lease is up next year. But chances are the jukebox is going to move along with the shuffleboard table and all the other stuff that gives the place its divey charm, and fans know that the music selection is tops, with an eclectic mix spanning the 60's to the 2000's. SF Weekly even gave the place its highest jukebox rating back in 2011, noting it "has cool-kid albums from Jay Reatard, Wavves, and King Khan & Barbecue Show, but there also are some fun old-timer tunes from the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, along with the slightly unexpected: the Ska'd for Life compilation, Dead Milkmen, and local favorites Two Gallants." — Jay Barmann
2575 Mission Street between 21st and 22nd

Photo: Adam S./Yelp

The Geary Club
Also among our favorite dive/old man bars is this small Tenderloin spot that's still going strong — if by strong you understand we mean the elderly ladies behind the bar are still kicking, and they will scoff at you if you order anything besides a shot, a beer, a Manhattan, or a one-spirit-one-mixer highball (well drinks are still $4). The jukebox, like the rest of the place, remains untouched for a couple decades, and one of the most contemporary artists you're going to find on there is Bonnie Raitt. But sometimes, if one of the bartenders gets drunk enough and the place is too quiet, she'll hand you $20 from the till and let you have your way with the thing for hours.— Jay Barmann
768 Geary Street at Hyde

Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge. Caleb Pershan/SFist

Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge
When times are hard, when Haight street gets you down, when you need a beer in one hand and a pool cue in the other, you can always lean on the Gold Cane. The bar's drinks are stiff and to the point, and the box plays surf rock, Pavement, and The Pogues. —Caleb Pershan
1569 Haight Street between Clayton and Ashbury Streets

Photo: Karl Kopplin via Last Call

Last Call
At this unassuming little Castro bar that looks like a mini ski lodge and was once known as The Men's Room (and before that, The Mistake), you'll find one of the best curated jukeboxes in the city. The disc selection caters to the bar's gay clientele without pandering to it, featuring a good mix of new and old hits — fairly heavily weighted to the old, however. You'll find Fleetwood Mac alongside Prince and Donna Summer. Kate Bush is there but so are Madonna, Kylie, and Cher. And every Gen Xer former goth teenager will be in heaven with a healthy dose of The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure. Also it should be noted this place opens at noon. — Jay Barmann
3988 18th Street at Noe

Little Star
Once revered for its jukebox after it opened over a decade ago, the original Divisadero Little Star sports a jukebox that some may think sounds dated now where you're going to find the likes of Pearl Jam, Elliott Smith, Andre 3000, and even Madonna. For many, all of that remains awesome, and it certainly doesn't hurt that you'll be listening while gorging on some of the best pizza in the city. — Jay Barmann
846 Divisadero near McAllister

Lucky 13
Lucky 13 may soon to be razed for just as ugly as expected condos, but it’s punk-as-fuck jukebox (and the bar itself) still operate while the condo remains in SF Planning Department purgatory. Plenty of old Descendents. Butthole Surfers and Angry Samoans tunes sit at the ready on a Lucky 13 jukebox that is 100% punk rock. Well, unless you think Joy Division is technically not punk rock. — Joe Kukura
2140 Market St., at Church

Molotov's. Caleb Pershan/SFist

If you're looking for cheap drinks and the feeling that you could be assaulted, then might I suggest Molotov's? In keeping with the bar's anarchic overtones, the jukebox (next to a very janky Monster Bash pinball machine) features such punk-pleasers as Thin Lizzy, Motörhead, and The Stranglers. Other relevant facts are that Molotov's is named for a crude incendiary weapon and that PBR costs you $2 and several dirty looks. —Caleb Pershan
582 Haight Street between Steiner and Fillmore Streets

Murio's Trophy Room. Caleb Pershan/SFist

Murio's Trophy Room

If it weren't for Murio's oldest of the old-school jukebox and Pliny on tap, then I don't know what. You probably wouldn't go, I guess. Situated at the literal and logical conclusion of Haight Street, the bar's 2012 redesign took a lot of charm with it, but like that jukebox, old habits die hard. So go ahead, put on Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, or the Beatles, all of whom are well represented. —Caleb Pershan
1811 Haight Street Shrader and Stanyan Streets

Photo: Jodi A./Yelp

Phone Booth
Before the word "hipster" came to define the Mission, The Phone Booth was a hipster bar with a little bit of an ambiguously gay bent. All of the above has remained pretty much the same over the last decade plus, and the well loved jukebox here is terrifically eclectic, with everything from country to punk, shoutouts to Peaches and TLC, and a hefty helping of Morrissey and Depeche Mode. Added bonus: a chandelier made out of Barbies, and a lot of dudes who are in bands. — Jay Barmann
1398 South Van Ness at 25th

R Bar
Resisting change is what R Bar does, and so it is with their decidedly retro jukebox. The bar has stood its Polk Gulch ground since 1940, though today's crowd might be seen as collegiate and a bit rowdy. Wall art is sure to disturb, and Fernet shots are sort of their thing. —Caleb Pershan
1176 Sutter Street between Larkin and Polk Streets

Rock Bar
Let me count the ways I love Rock Bar: For great drinks, for its pool table, for the ability to get food like fried chicken delivered to the bar from the Front Porch across the street, for the cat that seems to live at the bar, and last but not least, for the jukebox. That was curated in 2012 by nearby Aquarius Records in a clever partnership: Record store co-owner Andee Connors told the Bay Bridged at the time that favorite picks included bands like Electric Wizard, Ovens, The Spits, Mind Spiders, Speedwolf, Royal Baths, The Alps, Crystal Stilts, Black Bug, Pandemonium, Veronica Falls, Rubble, New Lines, Archers Of Loaf, Great Society Mind Destroyers. While Aquarius changed hands this summer, closing and reopening under new management from Oakland, Rock Bars jukebox has remained. —Caleb Pershan
80 29th Street between Tiffany and San Jose Avenues

The Uptown's jukebox. Photo: Dan B/Yelp

The Uptown
The Uptown's always been a bit grungy, and its jukebox is no exception: with plenty of age-curled CD box covers and just as many sharpie-scrawled setlists, it's the kind of juke you can page back and forth through in a happy-hour glazed haze. Johnny Cash or Nirvana? (Cash) Is Bowie too obvious? ("Changes," yes. "Golden Years," no.) If I put "Rock the Casbah" on three times in a row, will I get my ass kicked? (Yes.) But I love that song! (Go home.) There's also a good pinball machine, so any quarters you don't invest in tunes can go into silver ball futures. -- Eve Batey
200 Capp Street at 17th Street

Virgil's Sea Room. Caleb Pershan/SFist

Virgil's Sea Room
Virigl's basks in the calm, cool shadow of El Rio and is a fine establishment at which to enjoy any number of cocktails. A newer tradition, Virgil's has a jukebox to match. We're talking Beyoncé's self-titled album, Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, the Wayne's World soundtrack, and Beck's Midnight Vultures—Caleb Pershan
3152 Mission Street near Precita

Important Honorable Mention:

The Sausage Factory in the Castro has a jukebox, buried in its back room that used to house a bar but is now used only for private events, and we're told its record collection remains untouched since the late 1970's and includes some "fierce disco." The next SFist reader to have a birthday party there must please confirm that the thing still works and that they let you turn it on.

Photo: Joe Kukura