The Elbo Room, the popular bar at Valencia and Sycamore streets, has faced an uncertain fate for more than a year now due to the property owners’ plans to construct a nine-unit, five-story mixed-use building at the site, including a home for themselves to retire in. Today, Elbo Room owners announced on Facebook that the bar has had its lease extended until January 1, 2018.
“Please come have a drink…see a show…play a show…dance…and spread the word!” said the post.
The building owners, Dennis Ring and Susan Rokisky-Ring, did not immediately return a call for comment on why they extended the lease. Plans for a new building, which the Rings pitched at a community meeting in November of last year, faced some backlash at the time but are currently moving through the planning process, according to public records.
The building at 647 Valencia Street was long a hub of queer culture and history, housing first the Gaslight and later Amelia’s. Dennis Ring is a former employee of Amelia’s owner, longtime gay rights activist and founder of the Gay Games, Rikki Streicher. The Rings took over the business in the early 1990s when it became the Elbo Room, and later sold it to current owners Matt Shapiro and Erik Cantu. The Rings said previously that they will make an effort to preserve the bar and find it a new location in the Mission if it is eventually displaced by construction.
Previous coverage of the Elbo Room: