Coronavirus Turning This Place Into a Bar Obit Page

Mission Dives Blind Cat & Thieves Tavern Close, and We’re Already Pouring One Out

Blind Cat, as seen in its former Dirty Thieves signage.

Blind Cat and Thieves Tavern, two of the Mission District’s finest dives for shooting pool and holding your nose in the bathroom, have become the latest victims of COVID-19.

Hoodline got the scoop. According to its report, the owner of the two establishments was unable to obtain rent relief for Blind Cat on 24th Street. As costs mounted, he was left with little choice but to close up:

Before laying off his entire staff, [owner Paul Bavaro] paid them all the money he had; his landlord at Thieves Tavern also forgave two months’ rent without his even asking, to help him stay afloat.

But paying rent for Blind Cat, on top of vendors and other expenses during the lockdown, has been impossible without an income. 

“I just don’t see how I can battle the next 12 months of rolling closures and capacity restrictions,” he said.

Bavaro is now experiencing an unceremonious end to his once thriving bar empire. His famed Tenderloin bar, Whiskey Thieves, closed last year after a 15-year run. And Dear Mom, the 16th Street bar that was the toast of the Tumblr-era community in 2012, shuttered in 2018.

Now our understandable health closures have finished off his last two bars. As Bavaro told Hoodline, “there’s no better goodbye than the Irish exit — by just sneaking out the back door.”

[Photo: Kevin Y. / Yelp]

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