Fans of dependable Mission District dive bar and venue Elbo Room had to pinch themselves last week when news broke that the business wasn’t just staying open despite years of rumors it would close, but was even expanding to Oakland. To recap: The new project, Elbo Room Jack London Square, is taking over the former Night Light space at 311 Broadway, which like the original Elbo Room features a downstairs bar and upstairs performance space. To learn more details, Eater SF contacted Matt Shapiro, one of Elbo Room’s owner. He’s plotting a revamped cocktail program for both bars and will continue some Night Light traditions.
“The Oakland scene is really thriving, and many of our our friends, performers, and clientele live in Oakland [and the] East Bay,” says Shapiro. “So we thought maybe we could bring the party to them... Save them a few bucks on bridge toll [or] BART fare, and bring our SF folks out to Oakland from time to time as well.”
To drink, Elbo room will have their standard SF cocktail list, which includes classics like (stiff) Moscow mules and margaritas. They’ll also have new cocktail menu options, the same as the bar is due to unveil soon in SF.
While the bar at Elbo Room Jack London will open in early January, the venue won’t be active until late February or early March. When it’s up and running, expect music and DJ nights as well as some of the established nights set up by the Night Light. “I am very excited to book this space,” Shapiro adds. If Elbo Room’s current programming is any indication, acts will be eclectic and occasionally edgy.
Meanwhile at 647 Valencia Street, “Things are going well... and we are very excited for the next year,” says Shapiro, who has remained sanguine throughout concerns, which first arose in 2014, that the bar’s landlords would demolish their building in favor of condos. Such plans have been at least postponed, and Elbo Room’s lease has been extended twice, now lasting through 2019. Who would have thought.