Boy Meets Girl
A dozen great live music venues for the romantic at heart
Boy meets girl in the Coachella Valley.
Girl spends her free time hanging out in a swanky downtown bar. Tired of the same-old, same-old, she accompanies a friend to a local nightclub instead. Miles away, a friend tells heartbroken Boy, whose sweetheart just left him, “Forget your ex. She’s not worth your time,” then drags him out for a night on the town. They head to the neighborhood pub, which is closed for renovations. While searching for an alternative, his buddy runs a red light. The cop pulls them over in front of a live music venue.
After dealing with the police, the two guys decide to cut their losses and have drinks and a quick bite at the venue. Meanwhile, Girl and her gal pal are inside ordering cocktails.
While at the counter, the bartender has a sneezing fit as she replaces a nearby bowl full of munchies — darn that well-timed peanut allergy of hers — and has to momentarily abandon her post. Frustrated, Boy and Girl lock eyes and share a sarcastic grin — just before realizing their instant attraction to one another.
He approaches. She smiles. They make their introductions. By the end of the year, they’ll elope. And that is called a meet-cute.
Meet-cutes happen in movies all the time, but they’re even better when they occur in real life. Indulge your romantic comedy-style meeting as your favorite band or music plays in the background. The Greater Palm Springs area is alive with venues that cater to heavy metal, classic rock, Top 40, techno, jazz, and country. If music is the soundtrack of our lives, score your love story at these fun-filled places.
The Date Shed
Its humble origins are rooted in the mid-20th century, when dates were housed within its cooling walls. Years later — November 2011, to be exact — this intimate venue was used as a hangout for Coachella Arts and Music Festival performers and their friends. Since then, the Ataris, Smile Empty Soul, and Fortunate Youth have played to enthusiastic crowds.
50725 Monroe St., Indio.
Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace
Romance slows to a sultry crawl at Pappy’s. This Western-themed pub hosts the most cutting-edge indie musicians in the desert. Sean Lennon, Vampire Weekend, Spiritualized, and Beth Orton have played here. Fall in love like you’re in a Cameron Crowe film or better — a quirky Gregg Araki comedy.
53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown.
Dillon Roadhouse Bar and Grill
Wild nights get even wilder at Dillon Roadhouse. This drifter-themed saloon delivers a view of kitschy desert life with its Western façade and rustic décor. But don’t let its looks fool you; Dillon Roadhouse draws great talent from all over the state. Punk band Agent Orange has played here. So has The Entrance Band.
64647 Dillon Rd., Palm Springs.
The Hood Bar and Pizza
Every romance needs a casual hangout. Find a date or connect with cool patrons who share your love of rock, cold brews, and a good slice. The Hood’s crowd is not too trendy, nor is it pretentious — it’s filled with the best the desert has to offer.
73850 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
Enjoy a thrilling first meeting around the Ace’s pool. The desert’s coolest nightspot boasts low-key Laurel Canyon-style décor, but with a hip Palm Springs twist. Canoodle with the ultra-hip crowd while listening to live music in the Amigo Room, or steam up your Wayfarers while getting close on the dance floor.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
When Harry met Sally, he would have probably brought her here. Woody’s is a laid-back burger joint that doubles as a spectacular jazz music venue. Open mic night draws folks from throughout the Coachella Valley. Meet your future partner at the counter while ordering a quick bite to eat. Celebrate your partnership while listening to talented locals like saxophonist Michael Bolivar.
317 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
The Purple Room at Club Trinidad
To all the Sinatras of the world, meet your Ava, Mia, Deano, or Sammy in the Purple Room. From jazz to classic rock to karaoke, locals and visitors adore this venue for its rich history and retro vibes. Whether you identify with the golden age of Hollywood, or just enjoy the lore of it all, this venue is king.
1900 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
Willie Boy’s Saloon & Dance Hall Bar
Calling all urban cowboys and line-dancing ladies! Meet your soul mate at Willie Boy’s. This dance hall is home to fantastic country music, good folks looking for a fun time, and old-fashioned décor that will take you back to the era of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
50048 Twentynine Palms Hwy., Morongo Valley.
Palm Canyon Roadhouse
Artists are always falling in love with other artists. Palm Canyon Roadhouse’s open mic jam session is the perfect place to meet your soul mate, hear great music, or play with other gifted musicians while in town.
535 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
Vicky’s of Santa Fe
With a setting straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, Vicky’s is a wonderfully eccentric fine dining experience, complete with live music. Sip brandy Alexanders while enjoying a playful piano concerto — or smooth jazz.
45100 Club Dr., Indian Wells.
Flirt with each other at the bar. Then gaze at each other from your respective tables. Contemplate making the first move as you nurse a beer and rock out to live music at Bar’s Redwood Stage. Snuggle in a corner booth and make plans for the rest of the evening — or morning — if all goes well. This room is dark, sexy, and seductive.
340 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
The Copa Room
It’s the hottest spot northwest of Havana. You’ll love this spin-off of Palm Springs’ famed Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge, which opened in late 2013. Its decorative nod to the era of Esquivel and the Rat Pack will make you swoon. So will that delicious hottie eyeing you in the corner. Don’t just stand there; saunter over with a couple of peach sangrias. Sometimes the best relationships start when you least expect it.
364 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.