Five for The Five

Iconic Mission Dive The 500 Club Flips For $5 Million

The 500 Club, one of the Mission’s last remaining establishments for people who like drinking their drinks, not photographing them, has been sold.

According to several tipsters, the beloved bar’s aging owner has finally found a buyer after quietly trying to sell the venerable establishment since last summer. When SFist then broke the news of The Five hitting the market, it was reported that the owner was trying to fetch $1.25 million. But like much of San Francisco’s real estate, it ultimately sold for significantly more than its asking price. We’re being told its new owners paid a hefty $5,000,000 for both the bar and building that houses it.

Photo: Rich Bonney

According to a notice of business ownership change posted yesterday, the new owner is a recently-registered company called “Mission Rad.” None of the bartenders we spoke to knew the new owner’s name or contact information.

Multiple bartenders we talked to this week are optimistic about The Five’s future. The new owner has promised not to change anything—at least not yet. And he told one staffer that he purchased the bar because he’s “always wanted to own a dive bar.”

However, some change will be inevitable. We’re told the building is in need of some serious attention, including a pricey earthquake retrofit that could potentially close the bar for the duration of the construction. And we wouldn’t be surprised if drink prices creep up after the owner forked over $5 million.

But our worst fears of what would happen to The 500 Club seem to have not come true: the endless rattle of cocktail shakers and banality of The Bon Vivants won’t be invading 500 Guerrero Street anytime soon.

Active Shooter

Barricaded Gunman at Valencia and 16th Locks Down Mission District

SFPD has issued a shelter-in-place order for portions of the Mission District following reports of a barricaded gunman on Valencia Street. Currently, Valencia from 15th through 18th Streets, as well as parts of 16th, are closed with people told to stay inside.

According to two sources, the gunman is held up inside the apartments above Limon, across the street from Casanova on Valencia Street. In a tweet, customers at the cafe Muddy Waters are seeking cover:

Neighbors have told Uptown Almanac that police officers are breaking through neighboring apartments. The reason hasn’t be confirmed, but according to one neighbor, officers are gaining roof access in the surrounding area (as pictured at the top of the post).

According to one customer locked inside of Thanh Tam II, officers told patrons they were “in the line of fire” and had them flee the vicinity:

We will update as we learn more.

Update 5:04pm: Additional reports have come in from neighbors, which we have not been able to confirm with police officials. One tells Uptown Almanac, “A female resident at that SRO pulled a gun on the manager. Everyone knows who she is, but the cops are just being careful with the situation.”

Another officer told a neighbor that the suspect is in a stand-off with offices holding an automatic weapon.

SFPD spokespersons have been thus far unwilling to confirm details to the press.

Update 5:09pm: SFPD has resumed allowing pedestrians to travel along 16th Street.

Sad Hour

Speakeasy Shuts Down Brewery Due to Financial Woes

It’s last call in the Bayview: Speakeasy is calling it a night because it ran out of money. According to a statement released today by the brewery, the San Francisco mainstay will cease operations indefinitely:

Difficulty securing capital investment and outstanding debt obligations led to this difficult and painful decision. The company’s primary creditor will determine the future of the brewery and brand, and no decision or further information is available at this time.

According to Speakeasy founder and CEO, Forest Gray, “The brewery has worked with multiple investment banking groups and have had numerous meetings. One fact has become central to the process, and that is the company is financially insolvent and requires new capital to move forward. Whether that will happen is unclear, but I do hope the brewery and brand will persist.”

Rumors have been circling among brewers and bartenders for the past few weeks about the Bayview-based brewery’s future. One source told Uptown Almanac that layoffs occurred approximately two weeks ago because the company could not make payroll.

That didn’t stop Speakeasy from releasing a new brew just four days ago, tragically and appropriately named “Murky Business IPA.”

There’s still time for Speakeasy fans to grab a six-pack of their favorite beers. According to the brewery, “the remaining inventory of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers beer has been shipped to distributors and will be available in local and international markets while supplies last.”


Tacolicious Forks Over $900,000 Settlement for Screwing Over Workers

Tacolicious—the Mission restaurant that helps keep upper crust Tostitos fanboys out of Farolito—just coughed up a $900,000 settlement for not paying their workers proper wages. It turns out only charging $9.50 for a side of guacamole just isn’t enough to pay the bills.

According to Eater SF, the settlement worth 94,737 orders of guac stemmed from a 2015 lawsuit in which two line cooks alleged the restaurant burdened employees with “improper compensation, inaccurate wage statements, illegal deductions, and failure to pay out for overtime.”

“We love our people and take great care of our people,” Tacolicious’s owner, Joe Hargrave, told Eater in a Trumpian statement. “We chose to settle because if we chose to fight it, we’d go out of business.”

Thanks to the settlement keeping them in business, you can still grab a roasted butternut squash taco for $4.95.

[Photo: Adam O/Yelp]

Hold the Legal Bullshit

Rhea's Cafe Forced to Remove Bob's Burger-Honoring Mural

Four months after a mural honoring Bob’s Burgers’ Mission District roots was painted on the roll-up door of Rhea’s Cafe, the restaurant’s landlord ordered its cancellation. According to neighbors and SFist, the staff at Rhea’s “very reluctantly” removed the piece yesterday afternoon.

“Apparently [the landlords] are worried about copyright issues,” Sirron Norris, the artist behind the mural, told SFist. “The owner is not a fan.”

Norris, a San Francisco-based artist who served as show’s lead illustrator, painted the mural at the corner of 20th and Bryant because of the area’s influence on the Fox comedy. Via Hoodline:

“The show’s creator, Loren [Bouchard], lived on 20th,” Norris explains. “The house he used to live in, which is the model for the [Belchers’] restaurant, is also on 20th. [Character designer] Jay Howell worked at Atlas Cafe, and I lived at Bryant and 20th. That corner has a connection to the show.”

As one neighbor put it, the corner can now go back to its former “constant battle with graffiti.” No word if Norris plans on re-painting the mural elsewhere.

[SFist | Photos: ladymisskate/Instagram]

Who's My President?

San Franciscans Unaware of Everything Going on the World Decide to Protest Nothing

Not only is protest the new brunch, it’s also the new waste of time. At least, that’s the opinion of some San Franciscans. This Friday evening, a few local jackasses who are either completely oblivious to our national catastrophe or civically insatiable are holding a “fauxtest” in Dolores Park.

The organizers acknowledge this is a dada exhibition, meaning they are openly mocking the protests across the country. They encourage would-be attendees to show up with signs have slogans such as “read a damn coloring book,” which sure sounds like a dig at our bullet-point president.

Should you want to watch these folks paint the town red with rage, you can witness their flatulent indignity toward people giving a shit march down Valencia Street at 6:30pm Friday.


Man Mistakes Drug Lingo For Literal Invitation to 'Hit the Mission Street Slopes'

Months of torrential storms across California may have left the Sierra ski areas with their best conditions in years, but one Mission man apparently cannot wait to make it to the mountains. As witnessed late Thursday night, some cigarette-smoking alpine aspirant performed a cross-country crawl down Mission Street’s bus lane, skiing several blocks along San Francisco’s longest road.

That’s right: it seems one man was hoping to carve Mission Street’s infamously shitty snow.

As recorded here by Greg Gettle (via Facebook) across from Mission Crater Lake at 22nd Street, the neighborhood’s future Olympian huffed and puffed his way down the pavement, waving to bemused spectators on the sidewalk. But as another tipsters tells us, the skier was seen earlier down 19th, meaning this man grinded his way slightly uphill for at least three blocks.

No word if he actually went “skiing.”

Trashbags for Douchebags

Sexist Dolores Park Delivery Startup Is Strangely Concerned With Dirty Asses

Dolores Park, a vast wilderness with absolutely no services within walking distance, finally is blessed with the amenities it has so long lacked. Dolores Delivery, a delivery startup catering to San Francisco’s many man-boys who cannot handle dirt on their girlfriend’s asses, recently launched with the promise of serving up “essentials” to the “coolest park in the world.”

What exactly are those “essentials”? Beer? Various drugs? Sunscreen? Random parrots? Surprisingly not. Instead, Dolores Delivery plans to constantly update and improve your Dolores Park experience” by selling inflatable lounge bags.

“Don’t let your girlfriend stain her white jeans,” the company’s website beacons. “We don’t know why she would wear them to a park where she has to sit on the grass, and we don’t ask. Just buy her a hangout bag and we will deliver it to you. Don’t let her be the only one leaving the park with grass stains on her white jeans.”

Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine a world in which anyone would buy something to sit on besides to preserve a pair of white jeans, but the copy remains sexist on multiple levels. Women are too stupid to wear appropriate clothing to parks? Guys shouldn’t be burdened with the mere presence of female dolobutt? Men must protect their short-sighted companions from the cruelties of nature? No thanks.

And yet? The company seems to be doing just fine. As this blogger witnessed last weekend, the company’s inventory was flying off the proverbial shelves with folks lining up to pay up to $50 for what amounts to a bunch of nylon.

Of course, this poses the question: does anyone even wear white jeans to the park? Dolores Delivery seems to be solving a problem that doesn’t exist, continuing the long-and-proud Silicon Valley tradition.

Cold Beer Hot Action

Someone Set Up A Bondage Swing in Dolores Park

The unusually warm weather wasn’t the only hot thing gracing Dolores Park this Valentine’s Day week. On Monday a shibari artist set up a metal stand and delighted parkgoers with a very San Francisco performance involving suspension and elaborate knot tying.

Not content to keep things on the tripod, another performer dangled from a nearby tree.

With’s recent announcement that it would stop filming porn at the nearby Armory building, these two artists may have wanted to do their part to keep the Mission District kinky. Or, perhaps, they just felt like showing off and getting some sun in the process.

If Music Be The Food of Love, Ditch Valentine’s Day and go to a Show

It’s time to dig out your good chambray button up. Find the wingtip shoes you wore to your sister’s wedding last summer. Then, hit the streets and take pictures of your $200 dinner with your significant other. This is love. This is Valentine’s Day.

For those rejecting Valentine’s Day, or those couples who subscribe to Killer Mike’s views on what defines a “healthy relationship”, you can ditch the fancy dinner and catch a show. Here are your best bets:

Thundercat - The Independent

As a bassist and composer, Thundercat’s Stephen Bruner has worked with some of the greatest artists of the past 30 years from Kendrick Lamar, to Childish Gambino to Erykah Badu. As Thundercat, you’ll get a richer, funkier look into Stephen Bruner’s musical wizardry.

From the outset, it may seem Thundercat is joking around. His new album is called “Drunk”. He just united Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald on a slow jam called “Show You The Way.” Go to a show and you’ll see it’s all fun, but the musicianship is dead serious.

It is a goddamned Valentine’s Day miracle you have the opportunity to see Thundercat’s band comprised of Dennis Haam (keyboards) and Justin Brown (drums). To say they’re top level jazz players is like calling Shaq “pretty tall”—it’s not wrong, but it’s not a satisfying description.

Justin, Dennis and Stephen are otherworldly talents who have a mission to show you a good time and melt your face. Allow them to do this.

Buy tickets on Stubhub because the show is sold out. I did this last night. It was worth every penny.

Kevin Garrett - Rickshaw Stop

For those of you who would prefer not to return home covered in sweat after a show, Kevin Garrett is a good bet. As nearly every music critic has pointed out, he doesn’t quite fit into the “blue eyed soul” trope as much as he personifies it.

Kevin sounds like wildly talented 90s kid who grew up on a diet of James Blake and D’Angelo. He’ll stick to minimal arrangements, only to have his band kick in right when you were thinking the track was a simple ballad.

Tickets are online.

White Lies - The Chapel

If Interpol mated with Glasvegas, you’d get White Lies. Their sound calls back to quintessential 80s sad-boy rock, but has too much of a triumphant arena-rock streak to be regaled to that genre.

White Lies aren’t as big in the U.S. as they are in their native London. That’s your gain. These guys would typically be playing theaters or arenas, but they’re playing The Chapel. Go for 80s throwback synth melodies that transition into danceable Brit-indie rock.

Put on a Ben Sherman polo and grab your tickets here.

[Photo: The Independent]