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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The 24th Street Bar Opens Where the Attic Once Reigned

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

The last time I peed in the Attic’s bathroom, surrounded by kegs, an accursed voice yelled at me from the sewers and I think something bit me on the foot. And yet I miss the darkest, dankest spot on 24th Street, which closed months ago and has now reopened as the website-less 24th Street Bar.

Combined with the anonymous-sounding name and the exposed-brick-and-Edison-bulbs, 24th Street Bar is a place where you have a pleasant drink, not somewhere you go to get juh-runk. This is definitely by design. As Uptown Almanac’s Jack Morse noted, in requesting a transfer of the liquor license, bar owner Caroline Brown told the Board of Supervisors that she “had no intention of ‘creating another […] hipster bar in the Mission.’”

When I wrote about AL’s Place in April, I said it was the new southern terminus for Valencia Street’s haute-hipster vibe, and it’s easy to see the miasma of gentrification making a left turn on its way to collecting $200 at Dynamo Donut. However, the finely made Boulevardier that I ordered was only $9 — and that’s not exactly the most proletarian cocktail, let’s admit it. I had $15 in cash in my hand, all ready to go, too. How refreshing is that?

So in terms of aesthetic, 24th Street Bar is less hip than the Attic, and in terms of price, it’s not much yuppie-r, either. Having a bland-yet-upscale establishment replace a filthy, punk rock sort of place problematizes the narrative about the Mission, the continuing presence of PBR tall boys notwithstanding. Sometimes I feel like the word “yuppie” has practically vanished — it does have a vaguely 90s ring to it now — while the definition of “hipster” has expanded so that it contains ever-more-self-contradictory things: affluence and semi-noble poverty, an obsession with authenticity and a love of mass-produced products from yesteryear, a resistance to conformity while worshipping its own shibboleths, etc. Unquestionably, people who would have been tarred and feathered as yuppies in the first dotcom boom are now lumped together under the banner of hipsterdom.

Not many people care about the collapse of this distinction; virtually everything that happens in San Francisco is a pretext for phantom hipster-punching. As but one bit of proof, the word hipster appears 15 times in the comments of the Uptown Almanac article, but yuppie is there only once. To make things even more confusing, some Attic tchotchkes wound up in the home of a friend of mine who lives around the block and who is one of the most high-earning people I know. In any case, 24th Street Bar is clean and well-lit, very close to BART, and there’s 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat on tap. Take a look and make your own decisions about our aesthetic impoverishment and moral decay.

[Via Uptown Almanac]

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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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