540 Club Set To Reopen As New Bar Concept

The historic bar is preparing for a new change.
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Dive bar fans were devastated when the iconic Inner Richmond bar 540 Club shut its doors last March. What was once intended to be a temporary shut down became permanent as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to ravage the nation. 540 loyalists remained vigilant, awaiting any news as to when their favorite bar might open up – and now that news has arrived.

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According to a liquor license application uncovered by What Now San Francisco, owner Clarke Dorsey and his team are preparing to reopen the 540 Clement Street bar as a brand new concept. Tentatively titled 540 Rogues, the new bar is being operated by Clarke and his team under the name Booze Promptly LLC.

This is definitely not the first time that 540 Clement Street has undergone a significant transformation. In fact, the handsome building has a storied history that stretches back to 1908, when it was first erected as the Bank of Italy.

It was soon bought out by Bank of America, and it wasn’t until 1941 that it became 540 Club Bar. Over the next 80 years it transferred ownership a few different times, finally becoming the 540 club we know now today back in 2003.

Clarke is well aware of the bar’s history and hopes to preserve it as best as he can with his renovations. He wants to preserve the “divey” atmosphere the original bar cultivated while ensuring that the new bar is clean and modern enough to thrive in this new era of social distancing.

About a year ago, Clarke and his team ran a successful Go Fund Me campaign to help support staff who were struggling during the 2020 pandemic. They raised nearly $10,000 dollars and were able to survive through the year. Though no word has been given on when specifically he intends to open 540 Rogues, he continues to share behind-the-scenes photos of the renovation process on his Instagram page.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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Debbie Kelly
Debbie Kelly
3 months ago

Super excited about this reopening of this bar!

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