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Condo plans for Lucky 13 site nearly triple in volume

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New developer proposes 90 homes at location of seemingly immortal Market Street bar

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

Popular Market Street dive bar Lucky 13 has operated under the shadow of the wrecking ball for nearly two decades now, and the latest twist in the saga of this seemingly unsinkable neighborhood institution sees housing plans for the site nearly triple in volume.

Hoodline has discovered neighborhood notifications revealing that developer Keystone Group now proposes a nine story, 90-unit development for the 2140 Market Street spot.

The Keystone plan is a big step up from the most recent previous proposal, which included only 33 units of housing.

A public meetings about the potential new building and its effect on the neighborhood are set for December 17—hence the notices.

Keystone bought 2140 Market in early 2018 for $7.2 million. Longtime former owner Frank Cafferkey secured permits to demolish the bar in 2017 in favor of housing, but decided to sell rather than go through with the teardown.

Keeping track of the watering hole location’s future has been difficult, as the bar has faced potential closure over the specter of redevelopment so many times over so many years that it’s nearly impossible to catalogue them all.

In 2015, Lucky 13 manager Martin Kraenkel noted on Facebook that “the possibility of the replacement of the bar with condos has been hanging over our heads since 2002,” but the beloved dive has thus far escaped its fate every time.

Complicating the redevelopment picture is the fact that the building has history behind it, with the structure dating to 1906.

According to a Planning Department report from 2015, the building began as a meeting house for the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal order, and is only one of 18 such “social halls” that still exist from the period.