Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on June 18, 2024
Castro Restaurant & Bar 'Bar 49' Opens Tuesday at Long-Troubled Former Bagdad Café SpacePhoto: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The Castro's newest restaurant and bar from Hi Tops alum Colm O'Brien opens tonight (Tuesday, June 18) at the former Los Amigos / Bagdad Cafe space at 2295 Market Street (at Noe).

Bar 49 softly opens this afternoon at 4 p.m.

Previous tenant, the Salvadorean restaurant Los Amigos closed in September after just six months in the space, and the flatiron-shaped space has seen a revolving door of restaurant tenants over the last decade and a half.

Since Hoodline broke the news in February about Bar 49, O'Brien has been remodeling the space and preparing it for opening.

Bar49 opens tonight at 2295 Market St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


Today is the day and O'Brien could not be more excited. "It's been 10 weeks of mayhem," said O'Brien. "It's amazing that it's happening."

"I'm looking forward to the neighborhood having something new," add O'Brien.

Bar 49 will offer customers over 49 beer and wine options with 12 beers on draft and various canned and bottled selections.

Bar49's menu options. | Photos: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


The menu is split between appetizers, shareable plates, salads, and large plates. Appetizers include fries ($7), loaded fries ($10), a duo of sliders ($11), and flatbread ($17).

Salads and large plates include burgers ($16), fried and grilled chicken sandwiches ($16), shepherd's pie ($22), fish & chips ($22), corned beef & cabbage ($22), Caesar salad ($10), and a grain bowl.

O'Brien expects to add more items to the menu as the restaurant gets up and running.

Bar49's beer and wine options. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


O'Brien previously explained that Bar 49 refers to San Francisco being approximately 49 square miles, not the San Francisco 49ers who lost their third Super Bowl in a row earlier this year.

O'Brien brings his Castro bar and nightlife experience to Bar 49 having worked at Hi Tops for 10 years and Lookout for three years.

Stepping into the space, customers will notice cosmetic upgrades to the interior including seating layout changes, new tile, a menu board, televisions, and beer taps.

During its first week operating hours will vary says O'Brien. Bar 49's brunch menu will roll out next month.

Bar49 owner Colm O'Brien. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


The restaurant's space at 2295 Market Street has a long history. The New York City Deli operated in the space from 1978 to 1990. It was replaced by 24-hour restaurant Bagdad Café, which operated for two decades and was a favorite among the neighborhood's queer nightlife scene.

But since Bagdad Café closed in 2011, the space has seen a fair amount of turnover. Soul food restaurant Criolla Kitchen briefly took it over before becoming SliderBar in 2012.

Market & Noe streets in 1986; New York Deli is on the far right. | Photo: Max Kirkeberg/SFSU


In 2015, the owners of SliderBar remodeled and rebranded as Ovok, hoping to evade bad publicity due to two Health Department closures. Ovok closed six months later, which is when Castro Republic moved in. Castro Republic closed four years later and the space sat vacant until Los Amigos took over last year.

Bar 49's opening comes at a time when the area of Market, Noe, and 16th streets has seen a bit of a resurgence. Recent openings in the area include seafood restaurant Fisch & Flore, Mexican restaurant Tacos El Tucán, and French restaurant Catch French Bistro.