NIGHTCLUBS: Banjos on the Bay

Although some San Franciscans are so set in their ways that they still play dominoes, San Francisco claims to have nurtured more contemporary trends than any other U.S. city. The Bach-toned jazz of Dave Brubeck first took flight there about a decade ago. The mordant political satire of Comedian Mort Sahl found its first audience 6½ years ago at San Francisco's hungry i. And the beats were nowhere until they settled down in San Francisco pads.

Now it is "banjo bars." The movement began two years ago in a lipstick-colored room called the Red Garter. This year the sound...

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