Another dive bar bites the dust, as Ye Olde Hut transforms into Rockridge Improvement Club, a bar dedicated to craft cocktails. As anyone who has wandered into the darkened innards of Ye Olde Hut can attest, craft cocktails were not part of the offerings at the old school bar, that boasted pool tables, a working fireplace, and a charming stale beer smell.
After an ownership change a few months ago, it was unclear which direction the Rockridge watering hole would take: now, under the guidance of music industry vets Jeff Saltzman (90s era manager of East Bay native rockers Green Day), Scott Ayers, and Julie Figueras, it's filling a niche in the increasingly upscale neighborhood.
According to Saltzman, bars seemed like a more lucrative option than the music business, so he teamed up with experienced industry folk to make it a reality. Ayers has a local pedigree in both bartending (Trappist Provisions, Ben & Nicks) and music (Bay Area band The Lovemakers); Figueras has spent time as a Future Bar (Rickhouse, Bourbon & Branch, Tradition) employee, as well as at Plum Bar and Drexl in Oakland.
Apparently it's named after an actual pro-Prohibition group (Rockridge Improvement Club) that was the OG tenant of that very building. Meanwhile, hug your dive bars tight, people, as they are not long for this cocktail-loving world.