Mic Check

Mic Check: Brainwash Cafe hosts laundry, live music


The musicians performing at Brainwash Cafe have a lot to compete with. The roar of the espresso machine, the chatter of other patrons, the dinging of pinball machines, and, surprisingly for a venue, the opening and closing of washing machines.

For more than 20 years Brainwash has been providing food, coffee, beer, and a laundromat to SOMA patrons. It also provides a venue for several different open mics: Mondays are spoken word, Tuesdays are music, and Thursdays are comedy. Read more »

Mic Check: Everyone is listening at Sacred Grounds


“It’s about writing. We should start the interview with that.” Todd Tholke leans forward across the greasy café table. “The whole reason I came all the way over here today to meet with you is to tell you about this thing that we do that has to do with free speech.”

Tholke emcees open mics, which is something he’s been doing in San Francisco for over 15 years to showcase the works of local artists in a free venue. At present, Tholke is hosting acoustic nights every Thursday at Sacred Grounds Café, which lies north of the Panhandle. Read more »