Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Detour space reopens


The former Detour bar on Market Street becomes Jet this week. Photo: Rick Gerharter
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The long-shuttered Detour bar space on Market Street will reopen Friday night under the new name Jet. Gone are the former bar's signature chain link fence and its reputation as a seedy pickup bar.

In their place will be a sleekly designed dance club offering hip-hop and R&B music with what the bar's owner is calling the largest ceiling fan cum light fixture in the city hovering over a new dance floor. Where the fence used to be is now a seating area with couches, tables, and chairs.

While the bar's new name evokes an airport hangar theme, proprietor Greg Bronstein said he choose the name based on the bar's paint scheme.

"You won't see any airline design inside. Inside the interior is very black – black glam if we may – with lots of use of light and dark materials. Jet is a shade of black," said Bronstein. "I believe it is a totally different concept from the Detour. Although the Detour had a nice run, this is a new bar for today's customers."

Despite the changes, he said he hoped the bar's former patrons would feel welcome in the new space.

"I hope some of the previous Detour people will enjoy it but it will have a totally different feel than the old Detour," he said.

Bronstein acquired the Detour bar space in 2003 after a two-year legal battle with fellow Castro bar owner Les Natali, who shuttered it last October after his lease expired. Bronstein had planned to open in late 2005 "a short-term concept" bar named Bare Bone Bar in the space but that did not come to fruition.

As he mulled what to do with the Detour space, Bronstein pulled back on his other Castro establishments, selling off three restaurants he owned, including Blue on Market Street and the Red Grill and Whiskey Lounge on 18th Street. He still operates Lime, the Bar on Castro, Luna, and the Transfer, where he recently relaunched his popular Mexican-themed "Lalo's Party" on Sunday nights. At his Sneaky Tiki restaurant South of Market he also launched a Saturday night gay party to pull in business.

"People are always – their tastes change every year and they are looking for something fresh and new, entertaining and fun. That is our job to provide them fun and entertainment in a cool space," said Bronstein, who is throwing a special invite-only grand opening party at Jet tonight (Thursday, August 31).

He said the music played at the new bar would change nightly but will always have a hip-hop foundation and that he plans to impose a cover charge on weekend nights. As of Tuesday, he had yet to determine how much to charge.

Jet has a capacity of 98 people and will no longer have windows that open onto the sidewalk. Bronstein said he met with residents who live near the bar to see how to mitigate issues that came up in the past, and based on those discussions added soundproofing measures inside the bar.

This weekend's opening is only phase one in Bronstein's revamping of the space. He also owns the space next door now being used as Supervisor Bevan Dufty's re-election headquarters. Once the campaign is over and Dufty moves out of the space, Bronstein plans to move ahead with conjoining it with Jet sometime in 2007.

"We have done some preliminary permit work to adjoin the spaces. I think it is all obtainable," he said.

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