Warfield reopens after four-month makeover

Fresh off a major remodel, the historic Warfield concert hall is reopening this weekend following a nearly four-month closure.

In May, Los Angeles-based Goldenvoice took over management of the concert hall and poured in capital, adding a few dozen more seats, refurbishing existing furniture and upgrading stage and sound capabilities, said Bob Davis, executive director with The City’s Entertainment Commission.

The remodeled Warfield is one step in a large-scale redevelopment of The City’s arts and entertainment district, also known as the Mid-Market neighborhood. In recent decades, the area west of Fifth Street has been plagued by drug dealing and violence, and city planners say plans for a new mall and a bevy of residential high-rises in the area will help bring safety and an amped-up arts culture to The City.

“There has to be a good mix of commercial and residential [in the region],” Davis said.

The storied 2,200-seat venue, known for staging everyone from Al Jolson to Jerry Garcia in its nearly 90-year existence, still has its old-school flavor, Davis said.

“We’re real excited,” he said. “[Goldenvoice] are the big boys of the industry, we know that [when top acts come to the Bay Area], the major promoters in the nation will always have San Francisco on the mind, too.”

Goldenvoice is a subsidiary of major concert-promotion company AEG Live, which is owned by the parent company of The Examiner.

Comedian George Lopez is set to perform three shows Saturday through Monday, with bands The Fratellis, Rancid and The Kooks slated to play in the near future.

The Warfield isn’t the only popular venue that has undergone an upgrade. Shorenstein Hays Nederlander, the company that runs some of the major theaters in the area, including the Curran, the Orpheum and Golden Gate, also spent money rehabilitating its venues with soundproofing and seismic upgrades, Davis said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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