The Elbo Room Will Live To See 2016

Photo / Kevin Jones, KQED

Well, this comes as a surprise: After nearly a year of collective groaning following the announcement that the Elbo Room would close in November of this year, the owner of the Mission District bar and venue announced on Facebook last night (Aug. 18) that the club's lease had been extended through the end of the year, and will go month-to-month in 2016. Lovers of dark back booths and stiff well drinks served in pint glasses, rejoice!

From Matt Shapiro's joyful post [asterisks ours]:

Big f***in News! Elbo Room's lease is extended til the end of the year!!!!With monthly options in 2016. This came out of nowhere. As of yesterday we were told we needed to be completely out by November 9th.

In April, as KQED Arts previously reported, Shapiro had somberly delivered the official word that the club at 647 Valencia Street -- which has a bar on the first floor and a stage and dancefloor on the second level -- would be closing. Building owners Dennis and Susan Ring planned to replace it with with a five-story, nine-unit, "senior-friendly" condo development in which the couple themselves could live.

An artist's rendering of the proposed condos that would replace the Elbo Room at 647 Valencia Street.
An artist's rendering of the proposed condos that would replace the Elbo Room at 647 Valencia Street.

But the development faces delays, and Shapiro told KQED that Dennis Ring delivered news of the lease extension "in person."

"The only thing he said was they realized it would be better for the building not to stand empty while they are waiting for the project to continue," said Shapiro. "This really did come out of nowhere and Erik [Cantu, the bar's co-owner] and I are both still in shock, and quite happy."

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At a meeting last November attended by KQED's Kevin Jones, supporters of the bar kicked around the idea of trying to get it designated as a historic building, pointing to its previous life as the lesbian bar Amelia's (Shapiro and co. still hoist the old sign each Pride weekend in salute). But it's unclear whether that or some other hitch in the permit process caused the "project" to take longer than the Rings were perhaps expecting. We'll update this post if/when we know more.

In the meantime: See you at the bar?

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