Friendly Mission/Bernal neighborhood brewpub Old Bus Tavern will be driving off into the sunset after three years of chili, burgers, and lemon basil saisons. Owners and VW van enthusiasts Jimmy Simpson, John Zirinsky and Bennett Buchanan write that they’ve enjoyed their run, but have “sold our lease to new owners” in what’s surely a difficult call. They’ll stay open until September 8th and are encouraging neighbors to stop by for one last beer, or several, before they go.
Here’s the note they shared ahead of their closure:
The Bus is rolling on!
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of Old Bus Tavern. We opened our doors a little over three years ago with the goal of providing a warm and lively space for neighbors and friends to congregate over a tasty beer and good music. On those terms, we feel that we succeeded. Unfortunately, like a lot of small businesses in San Francisco recently, the economic realities have caught up with us.
Saturday, September 8th will be our last service. Until then, we will continue to provide the same great offerings and service that we have always prided ourselves on. Please drop by for a farewell bite or drink so we can extend a huge thanks and a hug to all of our guests and colleagues who have made these last years so memorable.
While we can’t provide specifics yet, we have sold our lease to new owners who will carry on the tradition of providing the neighborhood with local beers and chill vibes.
Old Bus Tavern
The Trio of Old Bus owners, who could typically be seen waiting tables and tending bar, opened with chef Max Snyder and an elevated food menu in 2015. That earned critical attention, but after Snyder’s departure, the team took the food in the more approachable direction they’d originally intended, adding more fun items like Frito Pie. In their last year of business, they’ve emphasized live music and a communal atmosphere.
While there were financial obstacles associated with doing business in San Francisco, Zirinsky says there were advantages, too. He thanks supportive nearby businesses like Blue Plate, Pizzahacker, and El Rio, and the SF Brewers Guild members for “sharing hops, sharing yeast, and sharing ideas.”
“There are some challenges to being here in SF,” he says, “but there are some things that lift you up, too.”