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Friday, October 19, 2012

Buck Tavern: Bar Loses Lease and Chris Daly Says "We've Reached the End of Our Journey"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

click to enlarge This, too, must pass - KELLY NICOLAISEN
  • Kelly Nicolaisen
  • This, too, must pass

The most important thing is, you've got to wear "nautical attire." 

Former supervisor Chris Daly confirmed that, come month's end, he'll also be a former bar owner. The lease for the Buck Tavern at 1655 Market expires on Oct. 31, and Daly is throwing a bon voyage party. "We are strongly encouraging folks to come in nautical attire and have a big party," he says. "Everyone out there knows we're coming to the end of our journey. I have no idea what's gonna happen next. Closing it down and liquidating -- that is my least preferable outcome here." 

Daly, who purchased the bar in December 2010, says he was unable to negotiate a lease extension with the building owner. He was also unable to find a suitable new location for the bar or, with his busy schedule as a labor organizer, find time to do much more than plan the forthcoming party.

Daly said 2011 was a banner year, with the Buck improving sales over its previous ownership by more than 50 percent. This year, however, has seen those numbers shrink, especially after he picked up a day job and stopped coming in so often.

He noted that his chosen format -- "a neighborhood pub kind of place where we try to keep the prices reasonable and there's an at-home feel to it" -- didn't really jibe with the rent he was being charged. He says he was breaking even some months last year, but that's about the best he could do. "People asked me, 'Why didn't you adapt?' But we didn't want to go more upscale, make it more loungey, and jack the prices up."

And so the Buck is sailing toward the edge of the map. 

"I woulda loved to go longer," Daly says wistfully. "But like so many good things in San Francisco, it comes to an end. Or at least this version of it." 

But, again, the most important thing is, you've gotta wear nautical attire on Oct. 31. "Because the party's gonna suck if you show up in regular clothes." 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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