Private Lair in Old Gambling Shack

House - Private room · McKinnon Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124, United States

The Space

From the early 1970s until mid-2010, the spacious lower level of our Bayview home (email hidden)ly speakeasy called THE CRIB.

What is now a huge, clean, no-frills guestroom with its own private entrance, private half-bath, microwave, full-size refrigerator, pinball machine, and access to a large backyard was for nearly 40 years a raucous, unlicensed neighborhood hangout full of gambling machines, vending machines, a full bar, and a small champagne room with mirrors on the ceiling and every wall. (Alas, that room is now a storage closet.)

The space has a queen-size bed and a full-size futon, wireless internet (bring your own laptop), and a TV & DVD & VHS player. (No cable or local TV.)

The private entrance, half-bath, and other amenities mean your contact with our bustling family life will be minimal, and more or less at your discretion. You may see us if you come upstairs to shower in our handsome claw-footed tub or cook yourself a meal in the newly renovated kitchen. Otherwise, your privacy is complete. We have a washer & dryer upstairs and you're welcome to use them.

Your hosts are a married couple in their early 30s with two small boys, ages 3 and 5. We also have a friendly, medium-sized border collie mix named Mo, who won't come downstairs during your stay, and can be crated as necessary.

Our house is two blocks from SF's newest Muni light-rail train line: the T-Third Street train. This train goes directly to and from downtown San Francisco. Several buses stop near the house, too.

We're an ideal spot for savvy, hardy, adventurous travelers in search of a truly unique and fun/funny experience. Tourists never come to Bayview, so all its charms are hidden charms — the good non-fancy restaurants & coffee spots, the parks, and the atmosphere. We're also good for travelers with a car or bikes. Parking is easy, and the heart of the Mission District is a non-hilly, 15-minute bike ride (or a 7-minute drive) away.

Ours is a bad place for travelers who'd prefer to stay on the beaten path, or who are put off by ethnic and industrial neighborhoods. Bayview is not a luxury or traditional-tourist area, but it's a great part of San Francisco to experience, and our home's former-speakeasy lower level makes a fine, un-fancy place to crash.

Check our guidebook here on airbnb for a handful of neighborhood attractions, including restaurants, supermarkets, and coffee shops.

Note: If you'd like to stay in our space, your airbnb profile must be complete, and it must contain accurate information. Safety requires two-way clarity. Thanks for understanding.

Room type: Private room
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 5
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1.5
Beds: 2
Extra people: $10 / night after the first guest
Monthly Price: $1950 /month
Cleaning Fee: $12
Check In: 4:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Strict
Pet Owner: Dog(s)

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • The place was spot on with the pictures. The Pinball machine was totally awesome after returning from having a few drinks. The owners were very nice and helpful with any questions my wife and I had. They gave us great recommendations on local restaurants. I Would stay again.

    March 2014
  • fun space, would be ideal for a trip with multiple people. very close to bus and public transportation. Brian and Katie were very kind, accommodating, even though my reservation was last minute. They made me feel welcome, but also left privacy.

    March 2014
  • The private lair is a very fun place to stay. It has two comfy beds and a host of board games, old movies, even a pinball machine to keep you entertained! Brian and Katie were really nice hosts and we had no trouble at all during our stay.

    Just a couple of things:
    1>The kids are up early and you can hear them through the ceiling. If you are not an early bird then make sure that you use the earplugs stashed next to the bed. Had no trouble sleeping with my ears plugged.

    2>While parking on the streets, just watch out for when the street cleaning times are. I got caught off guard when I was parked on Phelps street overnight.

    The lair is not too far away from a lot of fun stuff to do in SF and is a great place to stay.

    March 2014
  • Stayed for 3 nights and it was an enjoyable experience. It suited our needs and would recommend to any one who wants to experience a different side of San Francisco. Easy access to the bus station. The only cons were that the neighborhood wasn't as safe feeling as expected, especially at night, and hearing the noise of running around upstairs. However, if you're out early and gone for most of the day it's not a problem. The hosts were very kind and made you feel comfortable at your arrival.

    March 2014
  • Thanks to Brian and Katie for such a pleasant stay! I was looking for a place that was open to housing my dog while I attended an event, and Brian and Katie didn't hesitate in welcoming me into their home! Clean, quiet, and in an ideal part of town, I would recommend the Old Gambling shack to anyone. I really liked the fact that there's a separate entrance, and even though in an "industrial" part of town as the ad states, I still felt very safe locking the several doors and leaving my dog at peace. Thank you!

    March 2014
  • My stay in the 'Old Gambling Shack' was enjoyable.. The hosts were very nice and accommodating. Cool books to read, and old relics to look at. Thanks again!

    February 2014
  • We stayed 2 nights here, and overall had a great experience. The family was very welcoming and the setup of the space we stayed in was awesome! The room had a very vintage feel to it, with old books, vending machines, and even a pinball machine in it. The family also had a dog named moe who was so cute and lovable. The only downside that someone might find is that their kids run around upstairs early in the morning. We didn't mind it at all but I know some might be wary of this. Other than that everything from the hosts to the room was great and very accommodating. Definitely recommend staying here.

    February 2014
  • I had a pleasant stay here and, while I was only there for one evening, I was happy with everything. Check-in was quick and easy and Brian's wife was very friendly and helpful. They were communicative regarding what time we were arriving and seemed more than happy to accommodate us when we were running a bit late.

    The two beds were comfortable and the en-suite toilet was very convenient. You had to go upstairs, through a cold corridor, and into the house itself for the shower but that wasn't too much of an issue. The pitter-patter of running dogs and children early in the morning was the only real irritation as the wooden floors don't conceal the noise at all. We weren't looking for a lie-in so it didn't disrupt us too much but, if you're not an early bird, then it might be worth bearing in mind.

    Other than that one minor complaint, I can't really think of anything else negative to say. The room was huge, with plenty of space, and we had everything we needed as a small kitchen area was also located downstairs.

    January 2014
  • Great place ! Brian and Katie were very welcoming and very nice. The crib is a really cool place to stay at. The only down side would be the distance to the main things to do in sf and the children running at 7am every morning...

    January 2014
  • We spent one night in Brian's place. The place is nice and clean. We totally dig the functional pinball...that was just super cool. I think we didnt do anything else during our stay:). Hosts are really nice, flexible and welcoming. Location is pretty good as you can hop on the train and get to downtown or just use buses.

    January 2014
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Indiana University
McSweeney's, Cabinet magazine
Q: Are you a hyper-talkative, super-social person? Is that why this portion of your profile is so long? A: Not really. I'm not much of a partier or talker. Especially when I'm a guest in someone else's house. I don't expect anyone to read everything I've written in this box. But if they'd like to read it, here it is. Q: Gotcha. When did you become a dad? A: Late 2008. Q: Is your son amazing? You have two now, right? A: Yes, we now have two sons. Both are amazing. The second boy was born in early January 2011, two weeks after his due date. If he'd been born just a few days earlier, we would have received an additional $1,000 break on our 2010 taxes! Oh well.... Q: Are you a tax expert? Is that what you do? A: No. I work as an art director and editor at a small publishing company in SF's Mission District. Q: When did you move to San Francisco? A: 2008. We moved from Brooklyn NY, where we'd lived since '02. Q: Where in San Francisco do you live? A: We live in a neighborhood called Bayview that doesn't get talked about very much. Our house is southeast of the Mission, and east of Bernal Heights. Tourists don't often get out to Bayview, so its charms—playgrounds, restaurants, coffee spots—are more or less undiscovered. Bayview is a great place to live and raise a family. I ride my bike into the Mission for work every day, and the ride is less than 15 minutes. It's a flat ride, too. (In SF, a city notorious for its hills, that flatness is a big deal.) Bayview is the most neighborly neighborhood I've lived in. Many people who live on our street know my wife and sons by name. It's just nice. Q: Where are you from originally? A: I was born in Toledo, Ohio and lived there for most of my childhood, with detours in Cleveland and South Carolina. I went to college at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I met my wife Katie at IU. Q: Did you like Brooklyn? Why did you leave? A: We loved Brooklyn. We had good jobs and many friends there. At the end of 2007 I was offered a great job, out of the blue, in SF. We couldn't turn it down, even though the prospect of a cross-country move was a bit scary. Q: Scary? A: The idea of going from two salaries to one salary was a little scary. The funniest thing about our move to SF was this: Two days after I quit my job in Brooklyn, we found out my wife was pregnant with our first son! Yikes. In light of this happy pregnancy news, we considered calling off the big cross-country move, but in the end we decided to bite the bullet and jump. I'm glad we did. The move was rough. But we made it through a tough first year and SF now feels like home.
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