Another cherished relic of Old San Francisco is biting the dust as news arrives that Portals Tavern in West Portal is closing its doors at the end of August.
Longtime owners Don Gorwky and Mary King-Gorwky tell the Chronicle that the reason is fairly cut-and-dry: the building was sold and the new owner has declined to extend their lease. The bar known as Portals has been in operation since 1937, and the Gorwkys have run it for 30 years, since 1989. Prior to that, Don Gorwky was a bartender there since 1982.
He describes the place as a "family bar" where he and some patrons used to take an annual fishing trip to Canada, and another annual bus trip to Reno. Gorwky also says he hosted a golf tournament for the bar family for "about a dozen years."
Bars like Portals Tavern are, of course, an endangered species in SF. Just glancing back at this list of SFist's favorite dive bars circa 2014, four out of the 15 are now gone: The Gangway, Dave's, Hi-Tide Lounge, and Mr. Bing's (which is still there under new ownership but for all intents and purposes isn't the dive that Mr. Bing's always was). Also gone are joints like the Brown Jug in the Tenderloin, Marlena's in Hayes Valley, and Union Square's hof brau/bar Lefty O'Doul's. Meanwhile, Lucky 13 is set to shutter any year now, and the Elbo Room has reopened as something decidedly less divey called the Valencia Room.
Ah well. You've got a month to pass through Portals for a pint and a shot. It's at 179 West Portal Avenue, right near the Muni K/L/M stop. They'll be cleaning up and dismantling 30 years of accumulated character for the next few weeks.