The red-hued Lake Merritt-area Oakland bar Ruby Room closed New Year's Eve, but has reopened in sputters since, and reopens permanently on Friday night under a new local ownership team.

The Oakland bar scene took another difficult hit in December with the announcement that the 24-year-old dive bar Ruby Room would be closing permanently, with its final night in business being New Year’s Eve.

But even that did not go as planned, as owners Alfredo Botello, Trevor Latham, and Tim Tolle discovered they had to stay open at least one night a week in order to keep their liquor license. And so that is exactly what they did, running “Ruby Fridays” on Friday night every week, in hopes of being able to sell that liquor license.

Screenshot via Facebook

The scheme paid off, and in fairly short order. The Oaklandside reported last week that the Ruby Room had found new owners and would reopen. Going forward, the Ruby Room will be owned and operated by the owners of the Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant which is on the same 14th Street block, Dawit Kidane and Gibtsawit Abraha.

Screenshot via Instagram

“My vision is to keep it the same. I’m not changing anything,” Kidane said to the Oaklandside. “It’s sad that a lot of places are closing around here.”

As noted in the Instagram post above, the reborn Ruby Room will reopen Friday night, March 1. Hours are not detailed but the Ruby Room typically opened at 7 p.m. nightly under the previous ownership.

Kidane said he would “keep it the same,” though it remains to be seen if the new Ruby Room will have an indoor smoking section, which the previous Ruby Room incarnation had.

Related: Oakland's Storied, 24-Year-Old Ruby Room to Close After New Year's Eve [SFNews]

Image: Ruby Room via Facebook