The new Mission Street location of Bissap Baobab opened nearly a year ago, and the neighbors were battling its alcohol licenses before it even opened. But the state just granted Bissap Baobab a full liquor license.
After hopscotching around at a few different locations over the last few years, longtime Senegalese restaurant and bar Bissap Baobab opened its new and largest-yet location at 2243 Mission Street (at 18th Street) in the former Lupulandia brewpub space. But neighbors in the adjacent condos were complaining about the nightclub’s potential noise problems months before the place had even opened. Five months after it opened, we learned those neighbors lobbied the state to get Bissap Baobab’s beer and wine license revoked, and urged state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to not grant the pending liquor license approval.
After an eight-hour state ABC meeting last March, the department upheld the beer and wine license two months later, declaring that owner Marco Senghor had done more than adequate soundproofing to the space. But the full liquor license was still pending.
Well, today you will find Senghor in very good spirits. The Chronicle reports that the ABC granted Bissap Baobab a full liquor license, and the booze will begin flowing in early September.
“I feel like a boxer that just won a fight,” Senghor told the Chronicle, emphasizing that hard liquor is more profitable than beer and wine sales. “Keeping a liquor license away from a bar almost ensures that it won’t survive.”
The license takes effect Saturday, September 9, on which date the Chronicle notes the venue will have a grand “reopening” party and debut its specialized new cocktail menu. Per the club’s calendar, there will be live music by the jazz and reggae artists Lamantia Lilmolove Band from 8-10 p.m., and the afrobeat DJ collective Paris/Dakar will spin from 10-11:55 p.m.
“Time to come back and bring some joy to the hearts of everyone,” Senghor said to the Chronicle. “I hope my neighbor will come and sit down and make peace with me.” (Haha, yeah, right!)
But this seemingly completes one hell of a comeback story for Marco Senghor and Bissap Baobab. You’ll recall Senghor was almost driven out of the country in a 2019 Trump-era immigration crackdown, and that legal saga that effectively forced Senghor to close the former Bissap Baobab at 19th and Mission Streets, as well as Little Baobab around the corner. But after some time on the rocks getting shaken and stirred, Bissap Baobab will be back at full power in just over two weeks.
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist