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San Francisco

Elixir Saloon Closes For Interior Facelift

Yesterday, Mission residents saw an unfamiliar sight, as 16th Street cocktail bar Elixir Saloon temporarily closed down for the first time in over a decade.  

The bar will be closed from Mar. 20th to Mar. 24th for repairs, and will reopen to the public on Mar. 25th at 3pm. The new improvements will give the business “a giant facelift,” owner H. Joseph Ehrmann said.

“This includes a replacement of the under-bar equipment, installation of a commercial quality, kitchen-style floor covering and resurfacing of the bar top with a marine-grade finish,” Ehrmann said. “The only reason for the closing is that the floor and bar top need time to cure.”


The space has a long history as a drinking hole, with evidence suggesting it's been a bar since the late 1850s. Its previous incarnation, known as Jack's Elixir Bar, was purchased and revamped in November of 2003, and it gained a reputation both as a cocktail haven and as a neighborhood spot open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

According to Ehrmann, being open every day is his ideal goal for what a neighborhood bar should be.  “We’re open every day, you know we’ll be there when you need us,” Ehrmann said. “A great neighborhood bar is reliable."


In the past, some renovations have been necessary, but Elixir Saloon was able to get the repairs done without disrupting service and the bar remained open. 

“We’ve done one project at a time, in a manner that did not require closing,” Ehrmann said. [We'd] "work through the night, and do stuff behind the scenes that people may or may not notice.”


According to Ehrmann, the changes during the closure will be the last of a slow three-year process that will hopefully streamline the bartending process and get customers their drinks more quickly and efficiently.  

“I wanted to make changes that would impact business positively,” Ehrmann said. “I’m looking forward to being completely done by this summer and I really hope people enjoy the improvements.”

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