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SRO Lounge must relocate, block sold

SRO Lounge is located at 1807 Fifth Ave. in Bankers Hill.
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One of the casualties to a reported Bankers Hill redevelopment project is the historic SRO Lounge on Fifth Avenue.

The "hole in the wall" which at one point The San Diego Reader figuratively said should be protected by the Historical Society is going to have to relocate at some point after the lot on which it is located was sold to Uptown Investments LLC in July.

“We’re not going to have much choice,” says SRO Owner Bryan Galvin told CityBeat. “It’s either move or close.” 

Galvin says that SRO isn’t the only business on the block which faces closure. All the buildings between 1801 and 1871 Fifth Ave., have been sold. 

The proprietor says the new landowners told him he could have as little as a few months to as much as a few years to move. He is already thinking about where to go. His options include Mission Hills, North Park or even Hillcrest.

One of the features of the historic bar is the opulent interiors with chandeliers, red walls, and etched glass. This décor may not follow the bar when it settles into its new location, but the stiff drinks and Girls Night Out, the popular transgender weekend social, will remain. 

Galvin is not rushing he says. “I’ve got a very loyal customer base, and I want to keep them happy,” he says. “I’m going to be picky. I’ve got time.”

That particular block is also home to other businesses including the art gallery Helmuth Projects, City Liquor House, and The Balboa Bar & Grill.

Mirroring Galvin’s words is the owner of The Balboa, Tom Logsdon, who says nothing is set in stone yet. “It’s one of those things where word gets around and rumors fly,” he said. “Nobody, even the folks that own the building, don’t have any real definitive timeline.”

But when the time comes he won’t be unprepared. The Balboa has a Chula Vista location in place which will open in 2018.

“Our Bankers Hill spot is very much rockin’ until the wheels fall off,” he says. “We’ll be here until they kick us out.”

CityBeat reports that Uptown Investments LLC did not respond to their request for a comment.