After four years in business and some flagging sales that owner Paul Bavaro attributes partly to homeless encampments in the vicinity, Dear Mom (2700 16th Street at Harrison) will be undergoing some changes in the next couple of months. Bavaro tells Hoodline that he'll be scaling back the food offerings and focusing more on the booze and the environment, creating what he hopes will emulate the punk-rock vibe of long-gone Crowbar in North Beach, where Bavaro got his start as a bartender under owner and mentor Riley O'Callaghan. He plans to bring pool tables into the 4,000-square-foot space, and change the name to something that may or may not have "Crow" in it, and be a tribute to O'Callaghan.
The current food menu, including the $15 burger and the $12 white truffle mac and cheese, will be going away in favor of things like $2 tacos, and just a couple of snack items. Says Bavaro, "San Francisco has become the home of the $15 hamburger," and he's tired of hearing people complain about the price, since he doesn't like paying a lot for food either.
Dear Mom's location, blocks away from the foot traffic of the heart of the Mission, may be part of its dilemma, but Bavaro says he hopes to attract more clientele by overhauling the look and feel of the place altogether, saying that he'll try to emulate the layout of Crowbar as much as possible, pending permits for new pool tables.
Crowbar closed in 2006, and Bavaro has gone on to open a trio of popular, no-frills neighborhood booze dens: Thieves Tavern on 14th, Blind Cat (originally Dirty Thieves) on 24th, and Whiskey Thieves in the Tenderloin. Dear Mom is the only food venture he's attempted to run thus far.
Dear Mom - 2700 16th Street at Harrison