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Lucky 13 site, cleared for new condos, asks $9.75 million

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Ad for site doesn’t mention popular dive bar already on the lot

The Lucky 13 bar in San Francisco, painted red, with a snarling cat’s head for a sign. Torbak Hopper

The ads for 2140-2144 Market Street that went up last week frame it as a sweet deal for new mixed-use development in Upper Market, citing “Planning Approval for 28 units,” which is to say 27 homes and one commercial space, with 28,808 square feet of “net salable” space.

What the ads don’t mention, and which SF Weekly observed, is that longtime San Franciscans already know 2140 Market Street as the site of popular neighborhood dive bar Lucky 13.

Fans have been mourning the apparently pending departure of the hallowed drinking den in favor of new housing for years now.

But instead of going ahead with construction, owner Frank Cafferkey (who bought the site via an anonymous LLC in 2004) apparently now prefer to sell to the tune of $9.75 million, precisely ten times what he paid for it.

The site’s building permits issued in April authorize “demolition of one-story bar commercial building” (translation: it’s last call) and the construction of a new five-story habitat by architect Warner Schmalz in its place.

It’s not unusual for property owners to sell permitted properties and their corresponding plans rather than break ground themselves, and it’s hard to say what this bodes for Lucky 13’s future, to whatever degree it has one.

Maybe longtime regulars can look at the ad as kind of comforting night light. So long as the place is still looking for a buyer, business will probably keep on doing business.

The design for the new building.
Courtesy Christopher Smith, Shamrock Real Estate Company