The world is coming alive again, bit by bit, and now we have word that the Mission's indoor miniature golf spot Urban Putt is reopening for the first time since last March.
Urban Putt is planning to reopen to the public at 25% capacity next Wednesday, March 31. It's allowed to do so in the "indoor family entertainment" category, along with pool halls and bowling alleys — though San Francisco says that groups patronizing such businesses must all be from the same household.
Owner Steve Fox — who designed and opened Urban Putt in 2014 and subsequently opened another location in Denver — tells Mission Local that it's been a depressing year as he's stopped by the space at South Van Ness and 22nd nearly every day.
"Obviously, it has been miserable," Fox says. "There were periods of tremendous fear about whether we’d reopen — and sadness, because I’d come here every day, and there’s something sad about walking through this mini-golf course when no one is here."
Urban Putt has a bar and a full-service kitchen as well, and Fox tells Mission Local that his chef, has developed a bagel recipe, and the plan is to offer coffee and bagels to go on the weekends as well.
"I fully anticipate we’re probably going to lose money for months,” Fox says. “But the trick is, if we lose only a little money for a while until things get back to normal-ish, that would be okay."
Urban Putt is a unique and idiosyncratic kind of putt-putt place, with a Burning Man-meets-steampunk aesthetic born out of Fox's imagination. The course also includes SF-inspired holes, with themes like Playland by the Beach, and Day of the Dead — and the TransAmerica Pyramid makes an appearance as well.
A former editorial director at PC World and CNET, Fox became a mini-golf hobbyist several decades ago, and was known for hosting "bring your own hole" mini-golf parties at his home. A total of 65 artists and designers collaborated to build Urban Putt's San Francisco location, as Fox told SFist in 2014.
"We wanted to create something artful and wonderful," he said at the time.
The plan for now is to open Tuesday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. As always, last call for golf is one hour before closing, and reservations are required here. Also, obviously, face masks will be required as well.
Urban Putt - 1096 South Van Ness (at 22nd Street) - Reopening March 31.