After erroneous rumors that Elbo Room had prematurely closed following the official transfer of its building’s ownership, co-owner Matt Shapiro confirmed to Eater SF that the much-loved 27-year-old bar would operate until the end of the year as planned, before handing off its space and liquor license to new tenants: the team behind Polk Street bar Playland.
The threat of razing the building at 647 Valencia Street for condos had loomed over the business for years; ultimately its owners Susan and Dennis Ring did not renew Elbo Room’s lease earlier this year before selling it.
Now the building has a new group of owners, which includes Steve Schefsky of Playland on Polk Street, who have plans to continue to operate a bar in the former Elbo Room space. According to Shapiro, he and partner Erik Cantu have only sold their liquor license to the group, not the Elbo Room name or any of its components.
SF Weekly reports that Schefsky plans to reopen on January 15, with renovations to take place over the coming months. Those will include upgrades to the sound system and bathrooms, plus new electrical and plumbing. Schefsky says he hopes to keep the ”look and feel of the interior,” however.
In the meantime, “Come celebrate Elbo Room for the last two weeks,” says Shapiro. “The real story is that we’ve been a bar and nightclub for 27 years.” That includes the last of several recurring parties like Tormenta Tropical, and the 21st annual Black X MASS on Christmas day.