The development boom has lowered the boom on the late, great Lexington Club, displaced the iconic Doc’s Clock, and taken the lives of many beloved longtime Valencia Corridor restaurants and bars because of “whacked out” rent and proliferation of condos. But one particular watering hole and music venue has been reliably able to delay its own displacement, and has done so again. The Elbo Room will remain open at its current location until January 2019, Mission Local reports, having signed an additional one-year lease on top of the current extension that allowed the bar to stay put until 2018.
“We are excited. It means everybody still has jobs,” Elbo Room co-owner Matt Shapiro told Mission Local before a Monday night staff meeting announcing the news. The Elbo Room was originally slated to get kicked out its 647 Valencia Street location in November 2015, but has won one reprieve after another as the development of a proposed condominium remains embroiled in red tape.
Here we see the unpleasantness proposed for the Elbo Room’s current location, held up in Discretionary Review with the Planning Department as neighbors object to blocked views and other environmental impacts. Those delays have nicely enabled the Elbo to grease yet another year at Valencia Street and Sycamore Street as building owners Dennis and Susan Ring continue to wrangle for building permits and it should be noted that the condo project is slated to include a home for them as they plan for their own retirement. "Dennis and Susan are still working towards their condo project, however, as far as we know, they have yet to acquire the building permit," Shapiro told Hoodline.
"They decided to offer us another year, since that will be mutually beneficial to both parties,” he added.
Mission Local also points out that Elbo Room had nearly signed on to move to the El Valenciano location at Valencia Street and 22nd Street, which is up for grabs. But the aforementioned “whacked out” rent undid that deal. "We got pretty far with it actually But the further we went with it, the more outrageously expensive it became," Shapiro told Hoodline. "This lease extension could not have come at a better time."
Nonetheless, it’s just an extension and a delay of the inevitable move. While the Elbo Room does have legacy business status, it falls just short of the 30-year status that can help keep a business in its original location. (One more extension would do the trick!) That 647 Valencia Street location does have historical and alcoholical significance, as it was previously the pioneering lesbian bar Amelia’s in the 1980s, and during the 70s was occupied by gay bars named The Gaslight and Gay 90s.