Dear San Francisco,
The bar known as Dear Mom is no more. In its place, with a fresh coat of paint and new vibe, is Darger Bar a bar with a value-centric food and drink menu named for famed outsider artist Henry Darger. New bar manager Tracy Tanner, herself a graduate of the SF Art Institute, counts Darger as an inspiration, and she envisions Darger Bar as a place where both full- and part-time artists can come, hang out, and find some space to do their work. (Darger, a recluse who spent his life working as a custodian in Chicago, left behind an extraordinary 15,000-page illustrated fantasy novel that was discovered posthumously and made him a legendary figure in the realm of outsider art.)
"I think that giving people a space to create is a good thing for San Francisco," Tanner tells Hoodline, adding that the place won't just be for people who call themselves artists, but also for the programmers and PR people who harbor creative passions they don't always get to indulge. "There is a whole secondary life to San Francisco," she says, "and that’s why I think Darger is applicable to this space."
We first heard last fall that the bar was going to be seeing some changes at the hands of owner Paul Bavaro, and he now tells Hoodline that part of the concept was to bring back the days when you could get something for $10. The menu includes deals like three tacos and an Anchor Steam for $10, and a grilled cheese sandwich and an Olympia for $10.
In addition to some new TVs around the bar, Bavaro and Tanner have carved out a nook for artists to sit and draw (or write, or whatever), there's talk of a pool table, and work is beginning on a couple of murals as well. Tanner also plans to start hosting free drawing nights, likely on Wednesdays.
Darger Bar is softly open as of Monday night.
Darger Bar - 2700 16th Street at Harrison - Now open