A Fond, Sad Farewell

Tonight is that last night for Kate Dumbleton to tend bar at her fine establishment, Cafe Royale. I can’t honestly say how long she’s been the owner of the place, but it’s been at least a few years, predating my move to SF. I do know that she took what used to be a dark, Loiny bar and has since changed it to be a light, inviting spot that’s a focal point of art and social meetings in the area.
I mention all this because she decided to sell the cafe a few months ago and move to Chicago to pursue other things in her life. I wish her the best because she’s certainly wished me the best. You see, in addition to just providing a place to get a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail, along with tasty vittles, Kate has been a great supporter of the artistic community in San Francisco. She was gracious [crazy?] enough to let me shoot scenes for two of my films at Royale (taste and Dying in your Sleep) and others I know have had similar kindness and support from her. While there are times I’m not in to the art installations that are there, the fact she has them really says something. Other places in the area can barely make the effort to have a functioning bathroom.
So, it is because of all of this and what a super girl she is that I am sad to see her go. But, as I said, it’s her last night at the bar, so if you’re free, make the effort to stop by and thank her for all that she’s done. I’m sure she’ll brush it off with her normal self-effacing cynicism, but hopefully it will be enough to lure her back to the area someday. Lord knows we need folks like her in the area.
I just hope that the new owners can keep it going. I’ll really miss it if this one spot goes down hill.