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The Wooden Nickel is Closed Forever

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A happy hour we did at the Wooden Nickel for Broke-Ass Stuart Patreon supporters

It’s always a bummer when a great bar closes down. And it’s an even bigger bummer when it’s one of your favorite places in the world. So, I’m especially saddened to share that The Wooden Nickel is officially closed forever.

You may recall that when the Mission District flooded on New Year’s, the Nickel was one of the hardest hit places. In fact, it became the unfortunate poster child, for the flooding. It closed down that day and has not reopened since. Sadly, it won’t be reopening.

It’s no secret that I love the Nickel. Besides the fact that the owner Nancy Chung is one of my best friends and has been my roommate twice, it was a genuinely perfect neighborhood bar that had cheap drinks and excellent food.

Roux was the one of my favorite people of all time and was the Nickel’s bar dog. He sadly passed away in October.

Plus I had many really special moments there, including: parties with Broke-Ass Stuart supporters on Patreon, creating hilarious videospodcast recordings, late night shenanigans with friends who’ve long moved away, and hanging out with one of my favorite creatures of all time Roux (pictured above). My wife and I even had our second date start at the Wooden Nickel before we went off gallivanting around town. Years later, when we couldn’t get married in 2020 because of you know, 2020, Nancy surprised us with a little “Almost Married” brunch at the Nickel.

Our “Almost Married” brunch at the Wooden Nickel’s parklet in 2020.

So yes, this was a very special bar and I’m heartbroken to see it go.

One Last Hurrah

Nancy and The Wooden Nickel team will be having one last party at Kilowatt on April 8th. The details are on the flyer above, but if you want to nab one of the remaining farewell hoodies, you can get one for $50 cash.

People playing pool on The Wooden Nickel parklet during the pandemic.

The Wooden Nickel’s Final Announcement

Here’s the official announcement that the Nickel will not be reopening. It comes from the GoFundMe that was thrown when the bar initially flooded:

Hi friends and supporters.

Sorry, I haven’t updated y’all sooner, we just didn’t really have any updates to announce because it’s been quite the struggle to get answers from our landlord but it’s looking pretty grim.

It breaks my heart to disclose that the Nickel will not reopen. The flood damage to the building opened the door to a massive mold problem in and under the building. The remediation needed will take a considerable amount of time and money and it’s unclear who is responsible for it. I’ve been trying to negotiate with the landlord but it does not seem like they are willing to be reasonable and it will probably end in litigation.

The saddest part to me is going out this way. I would love nothing more than to celebrate and raise a glass with you all. So let’s do it! Just because we can’t do it at the Nickel, doesn’t mean we can’t come together one last time. Kilowatt has generously offered their space to house The Wooden Nickel’s last hurrah. It will be on Saturday April 8th starting at 7pm. I hope to see you there.

Thank you soooo much for donating to our fundraiser. It’s gotten us through the past couple months or rent, given our staff some financial relief and helped tremendously with our hefty legal fees. Everyone who donated will receive our final Nickel hoodie. If you live far away or are unable to make it, please respond to this email with your full name, address and size. If you are planning to come to our last hurrah, please send me your size and I will put it aside for you. Attached is the photo of the hoodie.

Thank you for donating and supporting the Nickel through almost 7 years! It’s been quite the ride and your love and support means the world to us.

Love you all,

The Wooden Nickel and Nancy

The Wooden Nickel will be greatly missed

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.