Volcano bowls at the Bamboo Hut have been inactive for about a year, but now they’re roaring back to life along with the rest of the bar at 479 Broadway. The reopening after major repairs is good news for fans of “the hut,” open since 1997, and a nice change of pace for owner Max Young, who recently closed his SoMa bar Mr. Smith’s, citing rampant drug dealing and safety issues in the neighborhood.
But the Bamboo Hut, which closed about a year ago, nearly threw in the towel as well. The plumbing went bad, and sewage was seeping underneath the building, rotting out a section of the door. “The landlord and I were blaming each other,” says Young, explaining that they debated who should pay for what, and how much rent should be due during the closure. “And then, in a miracle for San Francisco, he gave me a really good deal.”
Now the building is up to code, and the thatched roof flourishes that had begun to fray are new again. Young gave the bar a serious upgrade, with colorful new lighting similar to what he has at his other tropical-leaning bar, the newer Del Mar in the Marina. Cocktails are refreshed, too: Drinks include a “pretty fly mai tai” (Plantation 5-year rum, Real Mccoy 12-year rum, dry Curacao, lime juice, orgeat, mint, and crushed ice) and a “beach… please” (Pineapple and jalapeno-infused Cazadores tequila, triple sec, lime juice, passion fruit, pineapple wedge and blue salt). Still, much remains the same, including the animatronic tiki head that keeps watch (and startles customers) above the exit.
The Bamboo Hut opens daily at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m on Saturdays (closed Sundays, except for this one, during the North Beach Italian Heritage parade).