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

Categories: Local News
Chris Daly in Buck by Kelly.jpg
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." 

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Leasing rates are much lower in his hometown of Fairfield. The move would create the perfect opportunity to extend Progressive values to other communities.


 @Neighbor   I want to get a picture of the "restroom for customers only" sign, before he goes.  I guess as a business owner he wasn't a fan of the meth types around van ness and market.



The Buck's location is terrible, a business model based on being a hang out for joyless progressives, an owner who thinks the world runs on good intentions, an owner who alienates a majority of the city, just to name a few reasons to expect a failure.


Businesses fail, owners make excuses in public, nothing new there, no one wants to say "we didn't make enough money and the lease increase killed us." An owner puts a lot of time and energy into a bar, he doesn't want to admit that he failed.   The excuse he didn't want to go upscale, whatever dude.


There is some entertainment to be had from Daly's bar failing.  I feel sorry for his employees, on various levels.

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.