Following a nasty two-alarm fire that tore through The Riptide, a beloved live music venue and bar in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district last week, managers, bartenders, and longtime patrons are banding together to sift through the cindered remains and prepare to rebuild.

After reportedly breaking out at a neighboring property, the fire took hold of the nearly 75-year-old building mid-morning last Tuesday (Aug.18), and within an hour and a half the interior of the space was “gutted,” suddenly leaving workers without employment and the owners with around $600,000 in damages.

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Almost equally distressed by the loss are droves of regulars, who are left bemoaning the loss of not just a bar, but an “institution” that provides refuge for “family” including artists, musicians, and those looking to escape a bustling city life for a beer or two.

“It was a second home to me and to many others, and not because we like our booze, but because no matter what bulls*** came our way in life we would walk our asses down to that drab-colored, MUNI-lined downhill street called Taraval and meet it at the Edge of the Western World,” one regular wrote and forwarded to CBS SF. “Those ocean waves and a few shots of Jameson would wash away all of our troubles momentarily all while we would be surrounded by our friends and the best bar staff you could ever ask for.”

(Courtesy of the Riptide)

(Courtesy of the Riptide)

However, all is not lost. Local customers and management alike, devastated in the aftermath of the fire, are swearing to reconstruct the solitary Outer Sunset live music venue.

“This community will come together and do what it takes to help rebuild the bar and the spirit that encompassed The Riptide,” the patron wrote. “To the wonderful, hard-working staff and owners, we are thinking of all of you [and] to my friends in the Industry, please see if you could help out by maybe filling some openings you may have at your establishments and give these now jobless members of our community a chance to survive through this.”

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As the staff prepares to restore, several fundraising efforts have launched. A silent auction and show has been scheduled for this Thursday at Cat Club in San Francisco, and a GoFundMe has been set up to help owners David Quinby and Les James begin repairing the venue.


Alyssa Pereira is a music writer, web producer, and pop culture blogger for CBS stations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Find her on Twitter at Alyssa Pereira

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