Curbed SF has the scoop that the Elbo Room is reopening as the Valencia Room, with the tantalizing news that “shows are being booked for later this month.”
The agony and the ecstasy of the last five years of Elbo Room uncertainty have been an emotional roller coaster for Valencia Street club hoppers. Previous owners Dennis and Susan Ring initially planned to turn the place into condominiums, into which they would retire. That led to the initial closure announcement in 2015, but a Planning Commission setback for the condo approvals allowed the bar to survive until January 1, 2019.
We’re back to ecstasy, bar crawlers! Curbed SF reports that the Elbo Room is being reincarnated as the Valencia Room, and will remain a bar and live music destination. Curbed tells us that the site of the historic lesbian bar Amelia’s, which has traditionally re-erected the Amelia’s sign every year for Pride weekend, does not yet have an opening date yet, but teases that “shows are being booked for later this month.”
“It just became public lore that Elbo Room was becoming condos,” says Davin Che, who will be co-operating the space under Topsy’s owner Steve Schefsky. Eater describes the new ownership, investor, and management structure in some detail, but boozebags like myself are only concerned with what this new Valencia Room will look and feel like.
Per Eater: The downstairs bar will be fairly similar (Che says their approach was “restoration over renovation”), but more structurally sound. The old wood bar and its columns were not previously attached to the wall behind them, but are bolted in with the shelves replaced. The previously disgusting upstairs bathrooms have been renovated, and new “newspaper and magazine collages” are going up on the walls. Most importantly, they are quintupling the number speakers upstairs live music area, along with some new lighting.
“Our first goal is to open,” Che tells Eater. “Let’s not try to be a place that has everything perfect right away.” That’s music to the ears of Elbo Room’s longtime reggae, punk, and dance music fans.
None of the affects the Elbo Room’s new Jack London Square location, and beloved recurring Elbo Room events like Dub Mission and Muni Diaries Live! have already moved on to new homes. But one can’t help but be delighted that that the latest iteration of this Valencia Street standby will still be a bar with live music, with no condo owners upstairs to complain about the racket.