500 Haight

500 Haight Street on the Northeast corner of Haight and Fillmore has had an interesting and checkered history.

The 500 spot on Haight had an infamous history during it’s bar life. Most infamously as the Giant Glass Tavern, a spot known for bar fights and drug deals on any given night. The space operated as the Glass Tavern from 1959 – 1971. Prior to that it was known as Haight Village Liquors in the early 1950s. Between 1972 and 1975 this location was known as Hank’s 500 Club.

Per the Polk’s San Francisco City Directory there’s a gap through the 1970s until 1980, when business activity shows up again under as Fillmore’s Café Bar until 1983. Locals grabbed at bite when it operated as Marcello’s Pizza between 1984 – 1986 and as Joseph’s Pizza Restaurant between 1987 – 1988. It was listed as Manoras Café between 1989 and 1990 and as Veecha Thai Cuisine between 1991 and 2000. There’s no clear business history for 2001 but between 2002 and 2009, 500 Haight Street listed as Raja Cuisine of India then as Clay Oven between 2010 and 2011. Since 2012, 500 Haight operates as Wonderland and is thriving.

Locals were pretty puzzled while 500 Haight operated as Clay Oven. It was always empty and when a few us tried the food on the menu it was pretty good. Now that Wonderland is here, we’re finally seeing a thriving business operating at this corner.  The new owners did make a good effort to give the place a fresh look, with an exterior paint job and interior renovation. Add some amazing noodles and soups and we expect this place to be here for awhile.

Talk to locals and you start hearing  some colorful stories about the 500 location when it operated as the Glass Tavern. What memories do you have? We’ll update this post with more information as we continue to dig into the business history of this location.

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