Business Practice


Our Mission

The Starline Social Club equitably employs a team of talented bar, restaurant, and venue professionals to cultivate art, advocacy, activism, and community-building in Oakland, CA.

Our Values

Community—Above all else, being here for each other.

Equity—Striving for the most equitable employment practices possible, seeking ways to increase mobility and ownership for our employee community, while continuing to fundraise and advocate for local groups and causes in need.

Inclusivity—Actively hiring and maintaining a staff from a variety of backgrounds as well as programming an equally diverse roster of artists and events.

Craft—Honoring the craft of the artists we host and the production of their performances, from the food and beverages we serve down to the very bones of our 19th century building.

Creativity—Providing opportunities for imaginative play, expressiveness, and alternative problem solving that feed an individual’s soul and inspire an audience, which serves to underscore the values above.

Current Values in Action:

Community: We’re re-opening! From September 17 through the end of 2021, we are going to be open for SHOWS & EVENTS ONLY. Please check our calendar for all events.

Higher base pay: We are setting a business-wide minimum wage of $17/hour before tips.

Health benefits: Benefits packages for full time employees are currently being finalized with our GM.

Owner-Operator Opportunity: While we have learned that it is not possible to convert a non-operating business into any of the various worker-owned models, we have been in conversation with Project Equity and have set milestones with them to approach an owner-operator model once we have sustained profitable business activity and an owner-interested staff for six months to a year.

Inclusivity: We are still staffing up, but we have an awesome senior management team who come from a wide range of identities and backgrounds. These folks are empowered to hire out the teams they need to make the Starline thrive. We entrust them to include the rich diversity of Oakland in their hiring practices.

Craft: We have put a ton of work into the ballroom, while continuing to seek staffing for the downstairs bar for regular hourly operations.. We are reopening the ballroom with a 360 degree acoustical treatment that will finally let our Myer Sound System operate at its peak potential.There will be a second bar in the ballroom and less time in the drink line, as well as a massively upgraded lighting rig, stage curtain, and acoustic treatment of the stage. The ballroom has never sounded or looked better by many magnitudes.

Creativity: The calendar is popping off this fall! Granted, it was stacked deeper pre-delta, but we still have an amazing lineup of artists and events on the calendar for this fall, and we are looking to the new year to build on the current curatorial momentum.


Future Goals:

We are rebuilding humbly. With Delta still raging this fall we are opening the Ballroom and Crystal Cavern for shows and special events only: No regular bar hours, no regular restaurant service yet, just ticketed events.

As soon as Covid retreats into the rear view mirror and we can staff up appropriately, we will return to regular bar and restaurant service—but we don’t anticipate that happening until early 2022.

If we are successful in staying the course as planned, we will first cross the bridge of full time service and a larger full time staff sometime in early 2022. That milestone will begin the process of proving the Starline as a viable business that then-current staff could want to work into owning. If we remain functional and attractive to future staff as a business they would want to work into owning, we will be eligible to negotiate terms for the current ownership group to divest shares over to an employee trust that employees could earn ownership stake from. This is all a bit down a very uncertain road, but as we erred by speaking publicly about it earlier in the year, we want to be humble and transparent about our intent. Weplan to provide updates as business milestones are met towards this goal.

Last, but far from least, we would like to acknowledge our deep appreciation for all of the incredible live music and events warriors who came together during our darkest days and founded NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, and created the #saveourstages movement—which then led to federal approval of the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant, of which we are grateful recipients. If not for this grant, none of this would be happening. The Starline was single-handedly revived by this grant. Our gratitude for this heroic feat by the folks who founded NIVA will live in perpetuity at the Starline Social Club.

If you have any questions, recommendations or concerns email us at [email protected]


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