Historic Cafe Du Nord and Swedish American Hall Have Been Sold
By Waiyde Palmer - Published on December 08, 2013.
It was announced this week that the Castro's historic and beloved live music sister venues, Cafe Du Nord and the Swedish American Hall (2170 Market Street), have been sold. SF Weekly broke the story that the new owners will be Dylan MacNiven, boss/owner of the Mission's West of Pecos and business partner, Enrique Landa, Cordarounds co-founder. They will be taking over from current proprietor Guy Carson. Despite rumors to the contrary Mr. MacNiven has stated publicly that he intends to keep both venues immersed in the live music scene that the clubs have built their long admired reputations around. Both nightclubs will be closing for a period of time in early to mid 2014 for a major face lift. Plans are to refurbish and add an elevator plus larger bathrooms to bring the venue into compliance with current City ADA code. That will cost the new Du Nord team an estimated $700K and is part of the deal the pair struck with the landlords when acquiring operating rights to the property. Cafe Du Nord was awarded 'Best Club in SF' at the inaugural 2013 Nitey Awards. Rolling Stone Magazine describes the former speak-easy as a, "dark-wooded, subterranean watering hole and is the perfect place to lose a few decades over a batch of martinis." Paste Magazine placed Du Nord in its 'Top 40 Clubs In the US'. The Swedish American Hall was founded in September of 1875. The original club located near the old City Hall was destroyed in the Great SF Earthquake of 1906. Swedish born San Francisco architect, August Nordin, developed plans and specifications for a new building on a parcel of land in the Upper Market Eureka Valley neighborhood. The completed structure was dubbed "The Swedish American Hall," and opened December 22, 1907. Both clubs have seen their fair share of famous spend time upon their stages: Neil Young, Frank Black (Pixiies), J. Mascias (Dinosaur Jr), The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Train, Mumford and Sons, Train, Rilo Kiley and just this past Thursday queer Electro/Dance duo, HI Fashion, killed it to a near capacity crowd. The clubs are currently booked with shows and events until the end of January. There are also a few one-offs scheduled for the coming late Winter/early Spring. Once those obligations are met the new team will be shutting down for the remodel. Guy and his professional bar team have always made sure these two Castro entertainment landmarks were welcoming to the diverse community that makes up the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhoods. MacNiven plans to keep that tradition going in the future. As of this moment there have been no concrete details divulged on new menu or drink directions or if the staff - many who are long time employees - will be replaced. Hopefully former staff will be retained during the change over. We will keep you informed on remodel/temp closing details as they're made available.
The 4 Star Theater has been closed for nearly three whole years, but the scrappy little theater at Clement Street and 23rd Avenue will rise again this week, with movies plus pizza and bagels provided by nearby neighbor The Laundromat.