The Mission District live music venue Amado’s took a $500,000 hit with a flooding incident this summer that turned its downstairs area “into a swimming pool,” and the club is looking to its fans and regulars to help them bail out from the extensive damage.
If you walked by the eight-year-old Valencia and 21st streets nightclub Amado’s (pronounced “Ah-MAH-do’s,” not “AH-mah-do’s”), you wouldn’t notice anything particularly wrong with the place. The storefront still looks beautiful, a sandwich board describes upcoming performers and drink specials, and a blue neon sign saying “Free Show” is lit up much of the week.
But there’s an existential crisis for the popular music and art venue lurking below, as the club announced it suffered $500,000 in flood damages in an incident earlier this summer, and its survival may be contingent on a GoFundMe campaign to Save Amado's Flooded Venue.
The flood damage occurred in Amado’s lower level that hosts many of the live music shows. The Before and After photos below give you an idea of how devastating the damage was.
We remember plenty of nightclubs and restaurants being wrecked by flooding during this winter’s heavy storms. But how did Amado’s suffer severe flooding damage during the month of June?
“We were having an event downstairs, it's called Puti Club, it’s one of the many drag artists and producers in the drag community that we work with,” Amado’s general manager Garsha Shabankhani tells SFist. “They were having a performance in the entire upstairs and downstairs. And one of the patrons accidentally broke the sprinkler system and the fire suppression system.”
“So within minutes, the entire venue was flooded. There was significant damage to the sound system, and to the venue itself. Luckily, no one was hurt.”
The crowded club was forced to fully evacuate, but that was just the beginning of their troubles. “There was significant damage to the floors, the sound system, the stage, the sound booth, everything was flooded,” Shabankhani tells us. “Our instruments, the piano — we have some equipment downstairs — the downstairs was turned into a swimming pool.”
“In terms of material damage, it was significant damage,” he adds. “We have two floors of live performances. Usually the downstairs is saved for larger, more lucrative events, ticketed events. The immediate damage is that we are not able to produce many of the shows and events. We had to cancel a lot of shows. It’s unfortunate, because it hurts us financially, as well as the artists.”
Many of the scheduled acts are still performing in the smaller upstairs area, which is why the “Free Show” sign is still flashing in the window. But performing upstairs eliminates the performers’ ticket revenue, while Amado’s itself has seen their overall revenue cut in half.
“Like most food and beverage establishments, we’re struggling to make ends meet,” Shabankhani says. “We haven’t quite recovered from the pandemic. We’re just starting to recover from that, and then this happened.”
The GoFundMe campaign is coming up on $9,000 raised, though that hardly puts a dent in the estimated $500,000 in damage. “We’re grateful for everyone who’s donated, and our goal is to continue to persevere and continue to support local artists, musicians, and touring bands,” according to Shabankhani.
The club is still hosting live music shows, and could sure use fans in the house. Weekly events include a Drag Monday, Woody Lauer’s Bluegrass Jam every Wednesday, rotating DJs and local artists on Fridays, and Saturdays are Mod 80s Night with a live band. So go support Amado’s and help them get through this!
And as a bonus, Amado’s still has plenty of now-discontinued Anchor Steam beer. “I worked with my supplier and stocked up as much as possible,” Shabankhani tells SFist.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist