Another punch in the gut to the SF bar scene, as the owner of Upper Haight rum bar Hobson’s Choice has announced the place is closing, though the establishment’s final day has not yet been determined.

The Victorian-style giant bowls of rum punch have been flowing at the Haight and Clayton streets rum bar Hobson’s Choice since 1988. But this Monday brings the heartbreaking news that Hobson’s Choice is closing, according to Broke-Ass Stuart. The closure was confirmed by the bar’s owner Chris Dickerson.

There has been no closing date announced on any of the Hobson’s Choice social media channels, which have not been updated for a while anyway. And unlike the closure of nearby Club Deluxe, this closing cannot be blamed on a landlord rent dispute. Dickerson told Broke-Ass Stuart that “They actually lowered the rent, but like I said to you there is not the same foot traffic.”  

The “like I said to you” refers to an SFGate profile of Hobson’s Choice that just ran a month ago, and may have been the canary in the coalmine. In that profile, also written by “Broke-Ass Stuart” Schuffman, Dickerson explained that “A lot of service industry people lived in the neighborhood. So, they’d get off work at a restaurant at 10-ish, 11-ish, and come back to the neighborhood and hang out until close. They’re no longer here. I tell people all the time, ‘I don’t feel like I’m alone, but it still sucks.’”

While Hobson’s Choice opened at the Upper Haight location in 1988, Dickerson became a co-owner in 2002. And the space was a bar before Hobson’s Choice opened — a bar called Achilles Heel Victorian Pub. According to a Hoodline historical retrospective, it was owned by a provocative character named William Sapatis, who billed it as a “straight bar,” saying in 1980 that "The straights want rights: their own bar." This was at a time when multiple gay bars had opened in the neighborhood, including the popular I-Beam nightclub.

Achilles Heel operated there from 1975-1988, and prior to that, the space had been a hairstylist’s, a tool shop, and a pharmacy.

The Hobson’s Choice bar closure represents the loss of not only another legendary institution-type SF bar, but also another Black-owned SF business. As Dickerson said Schuffman’s SFGate profile, “I may be the only one left in the Upper Haight.” And now it’s unclear how long Dickerson’s business will be left in the Upper Haight.

Related: Mission District’s Beauty Bar Has Closed Permanently, Was Reportedly Sold [SFist]

Image: Hobson’s Choice via Yelp