When owner Ryan Condon shut down dive bar Big John's Tavern for repairs last year, he pissed off several downtown constituencies. The food and beverage crowds were upset he kicked out Asian-influenced street food spot The Green Door, the Citadel grads were concerned their memorabilia would be lost, and anyone who loved to shoot Grand Marnier at the bar in early aughts didn't want the dirty, good times to get lost in a renovation.
Since Big John's reopened, they aren't seeing the sort of sales desired to stay in business. Reporter Hanna Raskin writes:
Asked if the classic dive bar has imminent plans to close, Robert Hightower - who, along with fellow restaurateur John Adamson, was tasked with resurrecting Big John's - said, "Maybe. We'll see. We're still trying to figure it out."
Anyone who has visited the East Bay establishment on a recent evening could tell you that the crowds have thinned since the bar's heyday. Big John's social media campaign is pushing cheap shots, football day deals, "Stock the Bra" parties (lingerie once hung from the ceiling at the dive), and fried Oreos to attract new and old visitors.
Hightower tells Raskin that they may need to revamp the concept if they are to remain open. They will decide at the end of the year. Don't save your visit until the holidays, however, if you want to see them stick around — go now.