Two years into the pandemic, there are signs that SF’s always thriving bar scene is bouncing back to life, even in some of the dustier corners where things went quiet in Spring 2020.
Fans of Mission dive bar the Blind Cat (3050 24th Street at Treat, née Dirty Thieves) were sad back in May 2020 when owner Paul Bavaro announced he was calling it quits on the business, simultaneously closing sister spot Thieves Tavern as well. (The Thieves Tavern space on 14th Street has since come alive again as wine bar Bar Part Time.)
But here we are, a little less than two years later, and the bar has new operators and a new name: Ruth’s at Treat Street. The name is partly a nod to this spot’s identity back in the 90s, when it was known as Treat Street Cocktails — so-named despite the fact that the cross street is actually called Treat Avenue.
As Mission Local tells us, the new co-owners are Kim Cruise, Johanna Luddy, and Dan Lyons — Lyons also manages the building and owns nearby Clooney’s Pub, and Cruise was the manager of Clooney’s for ten years.
And we have Cruise and Luddy to thank for this dive bar not transforming into something truly depressing for the ever-gentrifying Mission, like a juice bar or a gym, which apparently was where Lyons’ head was at when Blind Cat closed.
“We were like, ‘No, Dan. Dan. This is a bar,‘” Luddy tells Mission Local.
A refreshing turn of events, no!?
Ruth’s at Treat Street is starting out, as it should, with nothing so fancy as a cocktail menu, or even a soda gun. There are $4 PBRs and Tecates, a $9 shot-and-a-beer special, and don’t expect and food.
Lyons has a history in the local dive-bar universe that runs deep, as Mission Local explains — his father ran Harrington’s downtown, which also closed mid-pandemic, and his great-grandfather opened Clooney’s in the 1940s, when it was further downtown. Coincidentally, Joe Clooney, for whom the bar was named, Lyons’ grandfather, was married to a woman named Ruth — but the Ruth behind Ruth’s at Treat Street is none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away just as Cruise and Luddy were brainstorming names for the bar.
So stop in to Ruth’s for a shot and a beer. They’re open 1 p.m. to midnight for now, but the hours may expand later.