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Lower Polk’s Hemlock Tavern to shutter in early October following sale

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A man walks past the Hemlock Tavern on Polk Street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The Hemlock Tavern’s management announced Tuesday that the Lower Polk haunt and music venue at 1131 Polk St. will close in early October, ending a more than 15-year run in the neighborhood.

The bar and its liquor license have been sold to real estate developers Dolemen Property Group, who purchased the property that houses the Hemlock in 2015.

Last year, they announced plans to raze the three-story building at 1145 Polk St., which includes the Hemlock, to build a 54-unit mixed-use condominium building in its place.

The Hemlock had a lease through 2021. In an effort to give it an option to return and preserve what its employees and regulars have described as “the last stronghold of the neighborhood’s vanishing population of punks, bike messengers and artists,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin in February introduced an amendment to Polk Street zoning regulations to allow liquor stores and bars displaced by building demolitions to return once construction ends.

SEE RELATED: Hemlock Tavern hopes for encore after building demolition

However on Tuesday, the Hemlock’s proprietors, who also own Casanova Lounge in the Mission District, announced on social media that they plan to step away from the business completely.

“The Hemlock Tavern, in its current physical and metaphysical configurations, will cease to exist after the first week of October 2018,” read an announcement posted to the venue’s Facebook page early Tuesday morning.

The Hemlock is scheduled to host one last blowout at its 17th anniversary party on Oct. 6 before closing “for good.” The bar and a full schedule of live music will be operating as usual through September 30.

According to the post, it is unclear whether the Hemlock’s new owners will revive the business or return in a new form.

“The new owners of the Hemlock Tavern have not yet announced their plans for what will become of the business following the construction of the new building a few years down the road,” the announcement states.

Calls to the property owners and Peskin have not yet been returned.

HEMLOCK SOLD, WILL CLOSE IN EARLY OCTOBER, BUILDING TO BE DEMOLISHED AND REPLACED BY CONDOS. The Hemlock Tavern and its liquor license have recently been sold to the same real estate developers that purchased our property back in 2015. The new owners of the Hemlock Tavern will be moving forward with their plans to demolish the building (1145 Polk St., which includes Hemlock at 1131 Polk St.) and construct a 54-unit mixed-use condominium building in its place. The Hemlock Tavern, in its current physical and metaphysical configurations, will cease to exist after the first week of October 2018. We will be operating as usual and featuring a full schedule of live music from now through Sept. 30th, 2018. The new owners of the Hemlock Tavern have not yet announced their plans for what will become of the business following the construction of the new building. We would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of our patrons, supporters, and the approximately 15,000 local/national/international bands and music acts that performed over 5,000 shows in our back room since October 2001. Running a live music venue was always a labor of love and we're proud to have contributed to the cultural life of San Francisco and the Bay Area. It was a great run.

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lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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