Just seven days before it was set to host its final show, the Elbo Room Jack London has announced new buyers. The club will still have its final show Friday night, but is scheduled to reopen under the new owners in June.
We can't begin to count the number of times the old Valencia Street nightclub the Elbo Room looked slated to close, only to receive another extension or lifeline. The rumors started swirling in 2014 that the 647 Valencia Street location was going to be redeveloped as condos. That hasn't yet come to fruition, though the Elbo Room opened a Jack London Square location, briefly creating a phase in 2018 and 2019 where there were two Elbo Rooms, one on either side of the Bay. The former Elbo Room on Valencia has remained a bar and has since become the Valencia Room — though the condo plan, which was envisioned as part of the owners' retirement, is still likely coming. (Something similar is happening at the former Phoenix down the street.)
Yet more closure turmoil was currently looming at what they call the Elbo Room Jack London, as that club was apparently set to close permanently. They announced their closure in November, adding “we are putting the bar up for sale,” and the final show was scheduled for this Friday, March 31.
But another lifeline has come through for that venue, as KPIX reports that Oakland Elbo Room has found new owners, described as “two local guys who said they will keep the name.”
“March 31st is closing night. We found a buyer!” the Elbo Room Jack London said in a Sunday Instagram post. “It’s two local guys who will be keeping the name. And will be revealing their concept soon. They plan to open in mid-late June. Thank you to John Downing of Downing & Company Real Estate for all the help. Lots of Love from Matt & Erik.”
“Matt & Erik” refers to co-owners Matt Shapiro and Erik Cantu, both once employees at the former Valencia Street location who took over ownership in 2010. KPIX reports that Shapiro is “planning to move to Germany to be with his wife,” which is apparently the motivation to sell the club.
We don’t yet know who these “two local guys” are, nor is it confirmed the venue will remain a live music club. But it’s still encouraging news that someone's putting elbow grease into a new incarnation of this club that’s been around, in one location or another, since the mid-1990s.
Image: Melissa H. via Yelp