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.
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.