Bachelorette-party planners across the Bay Area are weeping over the news that Bubble Lounge is ending its 17-year run on Montgomery Street in North Beach. The place was mega-trendy circa the dot-com boom after debuting in 1998 it was a spinoff of the original Bubble Lounge in New York's TriBeCa, which remains open but recently threatened to shutter. In the case of the New York location, it's an issue of rent going up at the space to almost double what they were paying, but in the case of the SF space, owner Eric Benn tells Inside Scoop that he's holding on to the location and has a plan to revamp it with "a totally new look and concept" perhaps by this summer.
Details remain under wraps, but it should be noted that the place has a full liquor license, and may jump on the craft cocktail bandwagon.
For those who don't remember, and it's probably quite a lot of you, this place was super trendy and full of local celebs and the dot-com wealthy when it first debuted, but slowly lost its cachet over the years, despite maintaining that boom-era list of 300 champagnes and sparkling wines.
Sidebar: Anyone remember when that cab driver picked up a woman from the then hot Bubble Lounge in 1999 and ended up raping and killing her? He was ultimately committed to a mental hospital in 2009 long after being convicted, but just a reminder that terrible things happened via taxi drivers before we had Uber.
According to the website for the New York location, the company is looking to relocate and perhaps expand to other locations in the city, however the message may have just been part of a negotiation with the landlord, who was trying to raise the rent to $44,000 a month, up from $24,000 and they note they were paying $7,000 when they moved in in 1995.