For Sale: Awesome Castle in the Tenderloin

UPDATED: Uh-oh, listed for $3.995 million, Edinburgh Castle might be the next S.F. institution on the chopping block.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: This story has been updated with quotes from Edinburgh Castle owner Tay Kim.

Another one? Barely weeks after the closure of Chow on Castro (which may shortly become a new restaurant), the impending sale of famed SoMa sex club Blow Buddies, the closure of transgender bar Divas, and yesterday’s announcement that Traci Des Jardins will close her Hayes Valley flagship Jardinière, another landmark of San Francisco city life is up for sale.

According to Socketsite, Tenderloin dive bar and home to extremely challenging trivia Edinburgh Castle, along with its liquor license, is now available for $3,995,000. Not that such places always maintain their web presence perfectly, but if was functional recently, it isn’t today. That might be a sign of certain doom or just Mercury retrograding a wee bit (one can hope).

While the crenellated bar famed for its comedy nights and ’60s dance parties may simply be on the market, Sockesite rather depressingly notes that the site is ripe for redevelopment: “The parcel upon which the 3,900-square-foot bar sits is zoned for development up to 80 feet in height, as touted in the marketing materials for the site.” We have reached out to confirm and will update accordingly.

It’s always been a salty place, though. Longtime manager Alan Black was known to push back on irritating customers, connecting him to another recently departed legend, Tom Guido of The Purple Onion.

Tay Kim has owned Edinburgh Castle since 1999 (although he worked there as a waiter beginning in 1994, when his cousins owned it). He tells SF Weekly that business is “slow” and that he’s “been dealing with some health issues which prevent me from working as much.”

There is also the matter of the changing neighborhood.

“Different crowd, not a drinking one,” Kim said. “In the past it was more of a band watching, drinking one but they’ve either started families and/or moved out of the city. The recent ‘tech’ transplants are not drinkers or social.”

But the bar is still a neighborhood icon. As SF Weekly reported last year, Tom Hardy shot scenes for Venom around Edinburgh Castle, and in the finished film, you can clearly see him reading a copy of the paper outside the bar.

Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary St., 415-885-4074


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