While the Lexingon Club’s demise left a big hole in the Mission, and rumors around the Elbo Room going condo don’t seem to be going away, at least one venerable dive has managed to secure its future on after a major shock. The Uptown, whose 30-year owner Scott Ellsworth passed away suddenly in April at the age of 59, is not going anywhere.
[jump] Ellsworth, remembered in the Bold Italic as a “true bohemian” who “refused to change the artwork, which is so bad it has now become great,” had signed a new lease early this year with the option of keeping things running until 2023. But shortly before his death, he posted on Facebook about a spat with the landlord over an attempt to raise the rent by 34 percent, in spite of the lease’s terms.
Now, Capp Street Crap reports that a group of six bartenders and some of Ellsworth’s personal friends have signed a deal to keep it going. The group is called “Buy Your Own Damn Bar,” in homage to Ellsworth’s response to anyone who offered advice on how the Uptown might be improved. (He did change his mind about putting toilet paper in the ladies’ room, however.)
There’s going to be a huge, five-day celebration beginning Dec. 26, for the Uptown’s 30th anniversary. While it’s been the Uptown from at least the mid-1980s, the corner saloon at 17th and Capp has apparently been a bar since the 1906 earthquake made the real estate available. So, really, 108 years of inebriated good times have been saved. Long Live the Uptown!
[Via Capp Street Crap]