When it rains it pours sometimes, and now a popular cocktail spot near Union Square has been forced to close again not by the pandemic, but because of a recent electrical fire.
Pacific Cocktail Haven (P.C.H.), the almost five-year-old bar opened at 580 Sutter Street by local bar star Kevin Diedrich in 2016, has even more trouble to deal with than COVID-related restrictions and closures. As we learn from a GoFundMe that was set up Monday morning, the bar and two other businesses on the 500 block of Sutter suffered damage from a fire that occurred earlier this morning.
Diedrich confirmed on Facebook that the fire had indeed caused significant damage after breaking out around 3 a.m. Monday, but no one was injured. He said that one of the bar's regulars who's also a neighbor called to tell him it was happening, as fire crews arrived to put it out. Video Diedrich posted shows significant damage and several inches of pooled water in a storage area of the bar, possibly in the basement though it's unclear.
"Needless to say we’re all gutted here," Diedrich said. "We had just reopened outdoors and brought the team back on."
He added, "Big thanks to the SF Fire Dept who acted swiftly to get the fire out and our neighbors who called it in. We’ll rebuild and be back. PCH is about the people and not a place."
The crowdfunding effort has raised almost $9,700 of a $25,000 goal.
"Having already survived a very hard year of 2020 with the global pandemic, Kevin Diedrich & the PCH team continued in a course of hospitality, even in the face of difficulty with on-going shut downs and with little or no prospect of success, they have maintained their level of hospitality, because they LOVE what they do," writes friend Jen Chen on the GoFundMe. "Let's give a little back to one of the hardest working bar teams here in SF, who has given us all SO many memories & laughs, so much creativity, and always a warm welcome, as they are now all displaced due to the fire and during a time when income was already low."
PCH opened in the former home of Cantina, shifting the focus of cocktails from Cantina's Latin-inspired menu to something more global, with inspiration from classic cocktails and unique, house-made ingredients.
It has remained in the past five years one of SF's most notable destinations for craft cocktails. More recently, it had reopened for outdoor service Thursday to Saturday, following the holiday lockdown.
We'll update you once it's better known how long the place will have to remain closed.
Photo: Kevin Diedrich