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San Francisco’s Infamous ‘Kink Castle’ Could Become Home to a New Jazz Club

Plus, Off the Grid Fort Mason Center returns on March 24

San Francisco Armory
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

The historic San Francisco Armory, that hulking brick building in the middle of the Mission District, could be renovated to make way for a jazz club and VIP lounge, according to reporting from the planning-focused blog SF Yimby. The outlet reports that AJ Capital Partners, which owns the property at 1800 Mission Street, submitted an application with plans for the building’s interior renovations. The recognizable exterior of the Armory would remain intact, and the Drill Court will continue to serve as the main venue with a “ticketing and waiting area accessible via 14th Street,” per SF Yimby. The proposed jazz venue would be adjacent to the Drill Court, with “a stage, seating, dining area, and a bar.”

The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1914 as an armory and arsenal for the United States National Guard, replacing a previous armory that was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. In the 1920s and ’40s the building served as a sports venue, but for the following decades, it went largely unused. Then in late 2006, San Francisco-based internet pornography producer purchased the building and until 2017, used the space for production, earning the building the nickname “Kink Castle.”

Line-inducing East Bay burger-maker heads to Marin County

If you’ve ever waited in line at Two Pitchers Brewery in Oakland for a lacy-edged smash burger from Lovely’s, then you might be excited to hear the burger-maker will open a second outpost across the Golden Gate Bridge. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Lovely’s new home will be inside a new Woods Beer & Wine Co. taproom planned for San Anselmo, which is expected to open in late 2023 or early 2024.

The Beehive team’s new FiDi bar opens later this month

The San Francisco Business Times has an update on the opening of the much-anticipated new bar from the team behind the Beehive in the Mission and the Treasury downtown. Per the outlet, Heartwood, which is located at 531 Commercial Street, will open on March 23.

This Palo Alto sports bar could make a comeback

The Old Pro, a Palo Alto sports bar that opened in 1964 but shut down last year, will be revived by restaurateur Guillaume Bienaimé, who owns Zola and BarZola also in Palo Alto. Bienaimé tells Palo Alto Online he hopes to reopen the bar in the spot at 541 Ramona Street, but will update the menu to include a burger and a steak in addition to bar snacks. Sad news for fans: he does not plan to bring back the bar’s mechanical bull, Bucky.

Off the Grid Fort Mason Center launches March 24

Though it might not feel like it yet, spring is just around the corner and the fresh season means the return of Off the Grid at Fort Mason Center. The popular food truck event and night market returns for its 13th season on March 24 from 5 to 10 p.m. and will feature makers including:

  • Lady M luxury crepe cake truck
  • Tokachi Musubi (Hokkaido-style musubi from a La Cocina entrepreneur)
  • Lorraine’s Café (pancakes, mac ‘n cheese, fried chicken)
  • Rocky Island Oyster Co.
  • B.A.B.S. aka Bangin’ Ass BBQ & Sweets
  • Mimbo House (West African food inspired by Cameroonian roadside eateries)

The season will run every Friday night until June 13 and this year will include the new Pop-Up Project, “a special collection of 18 rotating food businesses that are not truck-based, which will serve their specialties from dedicated parklets.”