Category Archives: Nightlife

Proposed demolition of San Francisco’s Elbo Room makes a NIMBY out of me

In the news today was an alarming story that San Francisco’s Elbo Room might be demolished to make way for a new condo development.

Of course, this one’s personal: Elbo Room is where I walked up to my future wife and made enough witty banter to get her to go to the next bar with me.


Living in San Francisco for this long, it’s not surprising that finally one of the many changes here will affect me personally and force me to become a stick-in-the-mud NIMBY.

Honestly, I’d really hate to lose Elbo Room. It’s quite possibly the only place in the city with strong $3 drinks from 5-9 every weekday. My kind of watering hole.

More details:

The owners of the two-story Mission district building at the corner of Valencia and Sycamore which is currently occupied by the Elbo Room have quietly drafted plans to raze the bar and construct a new five-story building in its place.

Early plans for the development include nine (9) residential units, three one-bedrooms and six two-bedrooms, ranging in size from 500 to 1,000 square feet over a 770 square-foot commercial space and parking for six (6) cars on the ground floor.

There’s only two types of housing they build in the mission: luxury housing and low-income housing. Regular working stiffs just don’t get new places to live in the city. I can’t really tell which one this is going to be, but either way, I’ll be shut out.

But wait, there’s a slight chance of blocking this development. The building might be deemed “historic.”

While the existing building at 645 Valencia Street wasn’t deemed to be historic when reviewed as part of the Inner Mission Historic Resource Survey in 2011, the Planning Department has since “received additional information that suggests that the subject property may have associations with the history of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in San Francisco.”

As a bar in San Francisco, that sounds reasonable. Let’s hope it works.