It’s pretty bad-ass when a movement forms to save a old-school bar from getting the boot.
But when a couple of 80-year-olds start fighting for that bar?
That’s exactly what James and Tasios Bovis are doing to save the Gold Dust Lounge on Powell Street from being turned into a trendy retail space.
The Bovises filed a lawsuit Thursday against landlord Handlery Hotels for taking advantage of their old age in order to terminate their lease and make way for new, higher-paying tenants.
Following an eviction notice in January that would tear the Gold Dust down to make room for “a retail space,” a movement of sorts had formed an initiative to keep the bar—open since 1966—from being gutted.
1966. There’s history in those walls. It’s rumored that the likes of Tony Bennett, Janis Joplin, Fats Domino, and Rosemary Clooney have all frequented the Gold Dust.
But it was apparently going to take more than a bushel of bar-lovers and a celebrity guest-list to show John Handlery that the Bovises have no intention of vacating the watering hole at 247 Powell St.
According to the lawsuit, Handlery got the Bovises to “unknowingly signed an amendment to the lease” by taking advantage of their old age. According to the San Jose Mercury News:
“The lawsuit alleges that representatives for the Handlery family gradually snuck in a shorter and shorter lease termination clause while telling the Bovises they were signing an amendment with no material changes.”
Of course, Handlery’s lawyers have shot back, saying that the Bovises are abusing the Constitution by claiming “elderly abuse,” and that they had been made very aware of the possibility that there were tenants interested in the space.
It’ll be interesting to see who wins this Battle of the Bar. I’d personally like to see a good old-fashioned drink-off. But we’ll have to wait and see.