The Chapel

When it comes to live music, I bet you have a favorite venue. Whether it came from one killer show, a couple great shows, the bartenders and food, or maybe the venue just does a good job avoiding everything you dislike about concerts (including the 11 worst people who go to them) everyone has a soft spot for certain venues.

Let me ask you this: How well do you really know your favorite venue? Mine’s Terminal 5 in NYC, and I didn’t even know it had three floors (or a rooftop bar). Whoops.

Enter Sober & Empty venue profiles. Explore your favorite venue, or maybe a new one, like you’ve never seen them before: Sober and, well, empty.

The Chapel SF is the first in our series, and it’s one unique venue, restaurant (known as The Vestry), and bar in the Mission District. The Vestry specializes in Eclectic New American food with an outdoor space that’s perfect for the summer.

Vestry outdoor space

The building was built in 1914 as a mortuary (and still has its mortuary coffin elevator), but has since been converted into a full-time venue space; complete with the occasional haunting.

The Chapel lends itself to a venue focused more on rock and alternative music, with a range from huge headliners to private bookings. As Paul Chalker, marketing manager of The Chapel, told us,

We’re beginning to be known for our residencies that we put on, from Real Estate to Charles Bradley to legendary Punk Band Television, and we just announced today a month long, 15 show residency with Peter Murphy – the founder of Bauhaus who is essentially credited for founding goth music.

The venue has two bars, one, up above in the balcony, and one directly below, to help guests stay local on their preferred show go-to spots. If you open a tab at one bar, you can close it in the other (which is huge news, in my opinion). The venue also has two staircases to prevent traffic jams in high-occupancy shows.

Photographer for Japenese House Show credited to Kelly J. Owen 

Last but not least, here’s a quick run through of all things The Chapel & Vestry, just as you’d never pictured them: Lights on, no one’s home, completely empty.