Private Lair in Old Gambling Shack

House - Private room · McKinnon Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124, United States
Your host, Brian
117 Reviews
Response rate: 90%
Response time: within a few hours

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 (email hidden), 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 1/2. 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
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
  • Had some issues checking in since we arrived an hour earlier than planned and the house sitter wasn't there until exactly 9:30pm so had to wait outside for a long time without being able to reach the host -- cell was turned off even though I tried to call repeatedly and left vm. Did manage to get in later, however the ventilation inside the basement apartment was hugely problematic (sleeping area, bathroom, even the air that comes out of the heater fan) And the sheets didn't smell fresh either. We wanted to do use the washer upstairs but it was a complete mess with clothing on the cover on the floor and washer itself was dirty in the gutters. I understand the description of the apartment did give me an idea to manage my expectations but we expected at least the basics from cleanliness to communication. To be completely honest, the stay was sub-par among all my airbnb experiences.

    July 2014
  • Great hosts, and considerably spacious area! Definitely one place that you can consider staying in San Francisco!

    June 2014
  • We stayed at the Old Gambling Shack a couple of weeks back on our arrival to San Francisco.

    The space itself is great with quirky furniture, a pinball machine and feels typically American being in a cosy basement.

    Hosts Kate and Brian were really friendly and helpful for tips around San Francisco.

    June 2014
  • We spent a night At this place and it was perfect. Great price! We were 3 people sharing The room and we didnt have any complaints. Good location. Minutes away from important atractions in SF. I highly recomend it!

    June 2014
  • The house was lovely, nestled in the hills. Clean, neat and ready for a guest. There was a little printout left for me with neighborhood information, which was helpful for the next morning.

    June 2014
  • Katie was very nice and understanding when we arrived much later than expected. She was very helpful by offering to keep our bags until a bit later than check-out so we could finish our tour of "The Rock". The "Lair" was perfect for us to get some rest prior to an early start at Alcatraz. We were able to park on the street out front. My son left the window down in our car all night and we still had a car to drive in the morning! The neighborhood is a bit industrial, but it appeared to be family occupied. Overall, this accommodation was safe, interesting and fun. The pinball machine was a blast!

    June 2014
  • I had a great stay at Brian's house. Everything came with what was described in his listing and more. The private entrance to the room allows for company to come in and out without having to interrupt the daily lives of Brian and his family, which I found convenient as I was coming and going often during my stay. Everything was very clean and comfortable. Would stay there again! Thanks Brian!

    June 2014
  • We met with Kate when we arrived in San Francisco. She showed us everything we would need to know for our stay - including meeting her two lovely children and dog.
    We didn't run into any problems during our stay - very nice people!
    My recommendation would be that if you are traveling to downtown most of your stay, whether for pleasure or business, the expense for transportation can get spendy, so look to stay somewhere closer.

    May 2014
  • Brian was very responsive to the booking. The house was great and as advertised. Getting settled was super easy. I highly recommend Brian and these digs.

    May 2014
  • Only stayed for one night, checked in very late and left very early, so not much time to spend in the room. Seems like a fun place to stay for a bit longer. Had a couple of interesting books, too. Didn't meet Brian but Kate was super friendly.

    May 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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