As SFist discussed well over a year ago, prompting fast denials from the bar's owners, the Elbo Room is indeed headed for closure to make way for a condo building. As Mission Local reports, via a new Facebook post from bar owners Matt Shapiro and Erik Cantu, their lease expires November 1, and building owners Dennis Ring and Susan Rokisky-Ring have decided not to renew it. Their plan is moving forward for a nine-unit condo building that will be, in part, their very own retirement home.
Shapiro and Cantu say, "Yes, we are in shock," despite the fact that this had been in the cards for over a year, and despite the property owners having unveiled their development plans to the community last November. Though building anything in San Francisco tends to take time, it was only a matter of time before the bar had to close, and the Rings now feel "quite confident that their condo project will be able to move forward."
This likely means the Elbo Room will shutter this fall, and Shapiro and Cantu, who still own the liquor license and the business, say, "We will be looking for a new space to continue what we are doing."
The space at 674 Valencia has likely been a bar since during or just after Prohibition, and was once known as The Gaslight, and as 1980s lesbian bar Amelia's whose sign still gets unveiled in place of Elbo Room's every Pride week. The Rings opened Elbo Room in the mid-1990s, and sold the bar to two employees, Shapiro and Cantu, in 2010, who have kept it going as a popular live music venue, cheap drinking den, and home for parties like Dub Mission and Tormenta Tropical.
Along with the impending closure of Lucky 13, also to make way for condos, and this weekend's farewell to the Lexington Club, the death of Elbo Room is going to sting plenty as nightlife continues to lose its worn-in dives.
Previously: Elbo Room to Become Retirement Room?