Teeth, the 12-year-old bar at Mission and 19th streets, is adding two new owners to its roster this month — a couple who are old friends of its founder and have managed the bar for the last two years. They say the mainstay watering hole will continue as-is.
“The basic theme is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?” said Robert Sill, who with his partner Brooke Lloyd will become one of the new owners.
“This has been an institution since 2011,” added Sill. “And so buying an institution, you just want to make sure it keeps running smoothly when you can.”
Launched in 2011, Teeth has been co-owned by Ben Bleiman, Mark DeVito, and Duncan Ley, until this month. Bleiman and Ley will be leaving to focus more on cannabis. DeVito will stay on as one of the co-owners but the bar will mostly be operated by Sill and Lloyd.
The beloved community bar has become known for its boozy bottomless-mimosa brunches and food-themed days: burger Mondays, taco Tuesday, and wing Wednesdays. Patrons crowd into its three-tiered patio, a space with colorful benches and tables amid lush greenery that stands in stark contrast to the bar’s dimly lit indoors, which is filled with funky mannequins and antique lamps.
Lloyd has been a friend of DeVito, one of the three current co-owners, for about 28 years, since they met in high school. Lloyd remembered the patio the very first time he walked into the bar: It was March 2011 and he saw patrons playing cornhole and lawn games in the backyard, a novelty in the middle of the Mission at the time.
“I was like, this is a crazy concept,” Lloyd said. “Like I can come sit here and play games like I would in a park.”
That ambiance will remain, augmented by some minor modifications — new retractable overhead shades, permanent gas heaters.
The pair are also banking on a post-pandemic bar revival: Teeth recently restarted its brunch and food offerings after a lull. “We’ve been without brunch for the last two years. And that used to be a big, sweet spot,” said DeVito, who will remain a co-owner alongside the new pair.
Lloyd and his partner Sill met in Seattle eight years ago and moved to San Francisco in 2021 when they were offered the opportunity to help manage Teeth. But this will be the first time the pair have their own establishment.
“It’s just exciting!” Lloyd said.
People from all walks of life come into Teeth: Local football fans watch 49ers games on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays; millennials book out patio areas for birthday parties; and neighborhood nonprofits hold their staff events or end-of-year parties at the bar.
Teeth is also a go-to spot for Midwesterners in the Mission, if not the whole city. Every Saturday, the bar is swarmed with Ohio State alumni and football fans, according to Alvin Garcia, the bar’s kitchen manager.
“It’s been an Ohio State bar for almost 10 years now,” DeVito recalled, adding that none of the owners went to OSU but customers love watching Buckeyes games.
DeVito also owns Standard Deviant Brewing, which opened in 2016 and is located on 14th Street right off Mission Street. He admitted that he has been focused on the brewery instead of Teeth. “There’s been a need for an owner to be there who really cares about the place,” DeVito said.
“It’s weird. It’s like that was sort of my baby. I was in there seven days a week for years,” DeVito reminisced about his earlier days at Teeth. “So it’s nice to see it shift over to people who will go back to having that sort of passion for it that I had at the beginning.”