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Bull's Tavern, San Luis Obispo's historic dive bar, is planning to move 

With nearly a century of history behind it, one of San Luis Obispo’s oldest and most iconic bars is preparing for a move.

Bull’s Tavern, founded in the 1930s and situated in the heart of downtown SLO, is asking to relocate roughly three blocks from its existing location on Chorro Street between Marsh and Monterey. The new location on Marsh Street is roughly 100 feet from another iconic SLO watering hole, McCarthy’s. Citing high rent costs at its existing location, the bar’s owners are planning to keep the name but move to a new location that “will be a truly unique business venture unlike any other in SLO and a distinctive experience for the end user.”

As of press time, the issue was scheduled to go before the city Planning Commission for approval. Neither Ash Management owner Bill Hales, who operates a number of downtown SLO bars, nor Joel Snyder of Caron Architecture, the project representative, responded to a request for comment about the proposed move.

If approved, Bull’s would relocate to the SLO Works welding fabricator shop on Marsh Street. The plans call for a slight remodel of the existing building and the addition of a patio space, which would allow for an additional 34 patrons at a time as compared to the existing Bull’s location.

While the city staff report notes concerns over new alcohol establishments in SLO, the move wouldn’t constitute a new bar and, in fact, alcohol-related incidents have improved overall after the creation of the bar, nightclub, and restaurant group the Safe Night Life Association.

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