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Listing of the Week: San Francisco speakeasy


This San Francisco home, a onetime speakeasy, has a bar on the lower level.


2 18th Ave., San Francisco CA
For sale: $3,995,000

It doesn't take a private investigator to come up with a theory about this curious San Francisco property. With a secret passageway, small doors leading to a back garden and an enormous bar that was clearly aimed to please a crowd, the signs all point to one thing: speakeasy.

That is certainly the conclusion of the home's current owner, Patricia Dodson.

"The room has a 12-foot ceiling and there are three slits about 11 feet up," Dodson said. "We were told when we bought the house, (that this) was a way for the person at the front door to flash lights on the bar so people could leave."

Then there's the bandstand and the built-in beer taps -- major context clues that this place was once a Prohibition-era watering hole.

"It looks like the real deal," said Dodson.

Additionally, marks on the second-floor ceilings where walls appear to have been removed lead Dodson to believe that the house once had several more rooms, perhaps for other illegal activity.

"You can tell there were a lot of rooms that aren't here now," she explained. "And we were told that speakeasies usually had brothels upstairs."

Today, the speakeasy room has been renovated into a home theater. The thin slits in the home's exterior are now expansive windows overlooking the Presidio in San Francisco. The secret passageway is now a wine cellar.

But the home's past remains alive throughout the home, including original stained glass windows, plaster ceilings and arches.

Sitting at the end of a dead-end street, the San Francisco home is an oasis from the surrounding city's hustle and bustle. The Presidio is the only national park located in the city, and the home looks out over its 1,480 acres of forest and adjoining golf course.

Inside, there's an array of amenities done in a style that maintains the home's Art Deco style, including an indoor pool and a fourth-floor library with views that on a clear day stretch to the marine headlands and the ocean.

With over 5,000 square feet of living space, five bedrooms and three bathrooms, the home has become too large for the empty-nester couple. But won't make it easier for the couple to leave.

"It's going to be hard because we've done so much to to it," she said. "Sometimes, I'm not so sure I want to part with it."

With current low mortgage rates and a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage, the home would have a monthly payment of $14,998 according to Zillow's mortgage calculator.

The listing is held by agent Monica Pauli of TRI/Coldwell Banker.


The home features an indoor pool with a constant current.


On clear days, the home has views of the marine highlands from the fourth-floor library.


A recurring theme in the home is detailed arches.


See more photos of the home on Zillow.

Zillow's site is filled with information on homes for sale and apartments for rent, plus data on more than 100 million homes in the U.S., so lots of homes catch our eye.