Veronica's au revoir
Chanteuse says farewell to San Francisco, for now
by David-Elijah Nahmod
Veronica Klaus, a fixture of San Francisco's cabaret scene for decades, will perform a farewell concert at Martuni's on Sunday March 19. But don't say goodbye just yet.
"I'll be back," the beloved performer said in a phone interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "I'm not sure when, but eventually I'll be back."
After thirty years as an iconic hostess and cabaret artist, Klaus is moving to Sharon Springs, New York where she plans to open a Bed and Breakfast. The singer assures us that she has not been evicted from her Hayes Valley apartment of 28 years, where she has hosted numerous holiday private dinners.
"It's not a crisis at the moment," she said. "Now is just the time. I love San Francisco dearly. It's been thirty years. But I'm ready for a new adventure. I want something that's mine, and I know that I'll never be able to do that here. I want a home and a business that's mine to own and create."
That home, which she's already purchased, will also serve as a restaurant and a performance space. Eventually there will be rooms for overnight guests.
"It's a Greek revival church from the 1860s," Klaus said of her new home, which she describes as "a gorgeous shell. The whole main room is filled with fresco murals from the 1860s," she said. "I have to put in plumbing, heat and a bathroom."
She plans on continuing her singing career once the space is opened for business.
Klaus admits that she never thought she'd leave San Francisco, but is happy now that the decision has been made.
"I've been performing in San Francisco for nearly thirty years," said the singer, who draws upon the classic Great American Songbook for her shows. "I've always been attracted to music which feels like it has a soul: Jazz, Cabaret and Blues. It's always what I've related to. I like songs that tell a story."
When Klaus takes to the Martuni's stage for her Bay Area swan song, she'll be performing a "best of" retrospective from across the years of her career.
"I'll be singing with my favorite musicians," she said. "I've worked with them for twenty years. We'll be doing a sampler of stuff for about 90 minutes."
Klaus added that she doesn't have a favorite song. "There are so many good ones," she said. "Whatever it is, it's sentimental."
Klaus doesn't want her friends and fans to be sad about her departure. Instead, she hopes they'll come to visit her in New York and enjoy her unique song stylings there.
"People are never that far away," she pointed out, noting that phone, email and social media makes it easy for people to remain in touch.
She says that San Francisco will remain in her heart.
"My years here have been my formation time," she said. "Everything about who I am came to fruition here. It's hard to leave but it's time for a new adventure."
You can see Veronica Klaus' farewell concert at Martuni's (4 Valencia Street at Market) on Sunday, March 19 at 4pm and 7pm. Tickets are sliding scale, $20-30.
Reservations can be made by Pay Pal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Klaus asks that you let her know which show you'd like to attend.
The singer also invites you to dine in her elegantly appointed San Francisco apartment for an Easter Sunday Brunch on April 16. A five-course meal will be served at a cost of $200 per plate. For more details refer to Cafe Klaus on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cafeklaus/
Klaus asks her friends and fans to keep in touch after she moves, and to consider her new abode for upcoming vacations. Write to her at 6569 State Route 10, Sharon Springs NY 13459
"I love you all," she said. "Don't be a stranger."