As we outlined back in September of 2019:

Built for an Italian men’s club in 1919, complete with a gym, boxing ring, and private social/supper club space, the ornate “Garibaldi Hall” at 435/443 Broadway, which is now on the market, has a storied history to tell.

The roughly 12,000-square-foot building was sold to the Caballeros de Dimas-Alang, a Filipino fraternal organization, in 1945. And in the early 1970’s, Ness Aquino opened Mabuhay Gardens, a Filipino restaurant and nightclub, on the building’s second floor.

In 1976, Ness inked agreements with promoters Dirk Dirksen and Jerry Paulsen to start booking punk rock and new wave bands into the venue. And “The Fab Mab” was soon the venue of choice for the likes of the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Iggy Pop, the Ramones (with Robin Williams as their opener), Devo, Motorhead and Metallica (circa 1982).

Mabuhay Gardens shuttered in the late 1980’s. Broadway Studios opened as a conference and event space in 1989, with the Velvet Lounge, Club 443 and now “F.A.M.E.” below.

Priced at $9.75 million in 2019, which didn’t include the liquor licenses for FAME and Broadway Studios, the asking price for the building was dropped to $7.85 million in 2020 and then raised to $8.35 million last year. And with the asking price for the property, which has been seismically retrofitted and is slated to be delivered vacant, having been reduced to $7.5 million, the building is now being offered at $511 per square foot, per its listed square footage, which is “below [an] estimated replacement cost of [approximately] $750 per [square foot]” for the building, as were all the previous list prices.

Also noted in the revised marketing materials for 435/443 Broadway, “there is also development potential” as “[t]he adjacent parking lot at 425 Broadway was [recently] approved for 42 residential units” along with new retail and office space.

24 thoughts on “Storied Venue Further Reduced Below Replacement Cost”
  1. Hmmm been brainstorming for eons on this…. what could possibly go here and thrive???? I know what, a strip club!!!! Wow, sometimes I just amaze myself. Nooothing remotely close to a strip club concept has ever been here or nearby…..

    1. honestly a male strip club aimed at queer and female customers might do better than competition for the other typical strip clubs. Not sure why that hasn’t been something SF has offered…

      1. The gay Nob Hill Theatre, with its ubiquitous “Touch Our Junk” sign, was in SF for over 50 years. It closed in 2018, with the building now a time warp featuring the history in signage along the sidewalk. In its later years, many a bachelorette party would be there with the gay clientele accepting them in most areas… some areas were def men only.

        [Editor’s Note: Plans for Iconic Nob Hill Theater Site Have Been Drawn]

      2. I hate to say it but yes. It would need to be “mega” like AsiaSF on steroids, but it could work. Note however that Gays have always been hard to get to go North of Market. Nothing fun ever happens North of Market unless you’re Gavin.

  2. I’m a little confused with the history. I played a bunch of shows there around 1981-84, went to a lot more. Dirk Dirksen ran the On Broadway upstairs in 435, Ness ran the Mab downstairs in 443. At least at that time. On Broadway was the preferable venue, but lugging my pal’s giant bass cab up the stairs in the alley was a real pain. The Embarcadero freeway made it breeze to blow in and fly home. Parking was easy. SF had a real good music scene, Flipper ruled, OK, but by ’84 it was drooping so it was time to get out of town. Good times.

    1. Yes, it’s odd how with more residents (at least prior to covid) and much more money, San Francisco has somehow become *blander*. Barbary Coast joints, Beach Blanket Babylon, independent bookstores, dance clubs, quirky bars and maker spaces – all thrived in a less booming time, and now are gone. (And don’t just blame gentrification – so many of these shuttered spaces are just sitting empty, as here. The spirit of the city has just been sapped and attenuated.)

      1. No doubt. I just can’t wait to see the disaster-in-planning at the Transamerica Pyramid. Only a New Yorker would think a private club is a good idea in SF. There is a lot of pain ahead.

          1. SFSeeYa,
            You should have let the Bohemian Club know 150 years ago that a private club won’t work here

          2. I hardly think the Bohemian Club should be touted as an example of success in any category of debate… and I’d daresay that the success of “private clubs” is inversely proportional to the success of our society and democracy.

          3. You may think that (societally and democratically), but the was not the original point. His was about fiscally working out. And of course, I just picked the oldest one but not the only one.

  3. The building is in poor shape, obsolescent, and needs expensive renovations. Commercial real estate values are also falling for older structures lacking tenant demand. The seller’s pricing expectations are unrealistic and she is churning through real estate brokers. Compass listed the building for sale during 2019 and failed. Meacham Oppenheimer listed it for sale in 2020 and nothing happened. CBRE then also failed during 2021. Sotheby’s is now trying to do the same thing during 2022. Who will be next to waste their time?

    1. There were previously places on the same site that had significance to people who came before us, and there will eventually be something of value on this site that has value to later generations. However, we should not be so self-absorbed that we must try to make decay familiar. This happens when one “lives” in an idealized past that was actually not so great. The future can be better, if we do not fight its arrival.

        1. Golly Fred. What pegged me as a real estate nerd?
          Was it that I was promoting them selling this place with the liquor licenses so someone could actually open them back up instead of selling it only as a development opportunity?

          1. The license would be specific to the Tenant, not the property owner, which is likely why it wasn’t included.

    2. Please. I’m a No Wave aficionado. People should always take care trying to talk down to other people about music stuff in this town. That granny who lives down the street from you in the Sunset used to be in the Avengers and stuff like that. Seen it all.

      1. Several years ago I went to an open house for a nice SFH in West Portal. The main house was well maintained, classic SF. There was a small “bonus room” behind the garage which the agent warned me was not in good shape. I peeked in and it was practically an SF punk rock museum. The walls were covered floor to ceiling with flyers from the Mabuhay, Deaf Club, etc for bands like the Avengers, DK’s, Mutants and touring bands as well. They had put a layer of varnish over the posters so they were well preserved and protected. There must have been over a hundred flyers with classic punk imagery. Whoever did that put a lot of time and effort into it. Some of those original flyers can sell for hundreds of dollars these days.

        I pointed this out to the agent who had no clue what he was looking at. I didn’t wind up bidding on the house. Whoever bought it probably also had no clue and I’m sure just tore all of it out. Just another small piece of culture lost to history.

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