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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dive Bar Deathwatch: Mr. Bing's

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM

  • SF Weekly

We’re still smarting over the Lexington Club, and the impending demise of the Elbo Room, not to mention the unlucky fate of Lucky 13, and now it looks like Mr. Bing’s might go the way of the woolly mammoth and the Steller's sea cow.

Hoodline’s Geri Koeppel determined that the building has definitely been sold, but there are conflicting reports about the fate of the bar itself. She worked her sources hard, ostensibly gulping back one highball after another to get to the bottom of the matter, but no luck. The liquor license expires at the end of June but it hasn’t been sold, transferred or renewed. Ruh-roh.

As Koeppel noted (and commenters grimaced over), Anthony Bourdain has been there. But Mr. Bing’s — a 40-year-old dive not named for a Friends character played by Matthew Perry or anyone else — is also a spot where the beers are in a fridge, the men’s room mirror is carpetbombed in stickers and graffiti, and there’s a painting of a woman playing tennis while scratching her exposed bum. As one-star Yelp reviewer Robin C. of San Jose put it, "Nothing has been updated since about 1968. Gross."

In other words: national treasure!

And the sign’s a keeper even if the bar isn’t. Just look at that luscious B in “Bing’s”! If the bar does in fact go, hopefully whatever takes it place can at least keep that oh-so-North Beach beauty, just as Pig and Pie retained “Discolandia,” El Capitan (formerly Radius) hung onto “Julie’s Supper Club” and the architectural firm on 17th and Florida is still advertising the Moxie Bar. Either way, the time to get a beer is now.

Mr. Bing’s Cocktail Lounge, 201 Columbus Ave., 415-362-1545.

[Via Hoodline]

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.

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