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Tenderloin’s Edinburgh Castle asks $3.99 million

Something is rotten in the state of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle, the venerable Tenderloin dive bar/venue at 950 Geary, named for the crenelated battlements painted on its roof, hit the market last week asking $3,995,000.

As Eater SF reports, the pub itself was established in 1959 and remains open for business while the listing is active. In fact, the business comes packaged with the building in the sale, although what will become of the old place after it changes hands remains to be seen.

Realtor Alex Kolovyansky writes of the 3,900-square-foot property’s “huge business upside,” noting that the parcel is zoned up to 80 feet, possibly foreshadowing a future owner’s aims to raze the castle in favor of a taller building.

According to Planning Department records, the building itself dates to 1946. This is not the first time in recent memory that the building has appeared on the auction block; city records indicate the building’s most recent sale in 2009 at a price of $1 million.

Zagat calls the bar “little piece of Scotland dropped into Polk Gulch.”

In 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle noted the bar’s longtime reputation as a hangout for writers and other creatives, with the bar’s manager and onetime bartender, Alan Black, collaborating on an anthology of local writers that year.

Edinburgh Castle has also appeared in several San Francisco films, including the 1993 Mike Meyers flop turned cult classic So I Married an Axe Murderer (in which Meyers’ character took part in one of the bar’s famous open-mic sessions) and more recently the 2018 alien superhero spasm Venom, which prominently featured the Tenderloin.