A while back, a tablehopper reader sent me an email asking what was going on at MURIO’S TROPHY ROOM, the grotty dive bar in the Upper Haight with quite the pack of regulars, and some of them were not very nice (I speak from experience, meow). Well, persistence pays off, because after numerous visits to the plywooded-up job site, we finally got some contact info. It ends up one of the current owners, Roger Howell, has brought on a new business partner, Edward Sargent; Howell owns The Attic in the Mission, and previously owned Mad Dog in the Fog. They have been busy gutting the space and building it back up, and have brought on a very cool design team, Haleh Cunningham and Bernadette Holmes of Thornbird Styling (this will be their first commercial space project).
I know, I know, some PBR-swilling trustafarian is waving their fist somewhere, and not in a Jah love kind of way. But sometimes things change—and in this case, the bar is going to look amazing, while still maintaining a neighborhood bar vibe. The name will change to just Murio’s. The ladies (one of whom used to work at Wasteland when it first opened and met her husband there, who worked at Villains—how’s that for some Haight history?) described the look as darker and masculine, with tufted caramel-colored banquettes, sexy 70s wallpaper, moody lighting, vintage and mid-century chairs, and organic surfaces, like copper-topped tables and concrete floors that are designed to weather well. Many of the original elements will remain, like the bar top, the pool table, the exterior sign, the newly recovered barstools, and they’re trying to get the jukebox fixed. The trophies from John Murio (who was a pro tennis player in the 1930s, hence the bar’s name and tennis motif) will stay put as “bar jewelry.” Oh yeah, and PBR will remain on the menu. The cocktail list will be straightforward, with quality drinks but nothing too involved, along with local beers and wines.
New elements include the higher ceiling that was revealed once the drop ceiling was removed, some large 15-foot windows in the front, some low-slung seating in the back, along with a DJ booth for DJs to come in and play music (Ed used to DJ at Nickie’s back in the day), and there will be an additional bathroom. The plan is to softly open the week before Christmas—they are working hard to meet that timing. Hours will be 11am-2am. 1811 Haight St. at Shrader.