Last Vestiges of Infamous Nasser Market Disappear

Neighbor Lessley brings us this update on the evolution of the former Nasser Market space on the corner of Crescent and Anderson:

Nasser Market, the infamous Crescent Ave. liquor store that inspired a 2008 murder and served as a drug dealing front, is now gone for good. Vacant for the past several years, the owners finally decided to turn it into an apartment building. As you can see from the picture, the sign came down last Saturday, erasing what had been a shameful blot on South Bernal’s reputation.

For those not familiar with the sordid tale, here are the lowlights: Four years ago owner Tong Van Le was held up at gun point at the seedy market, then tracked down and shot on the doorstep of his house in Novato by six accomplices who didn’t want him to testify in court about the hold up. Next, the market was taken over by drug dealers, who used Nasser as a front for their marijuana operation.

There had been hopes among some neighbors that Nasser might be turned into a small produce market for overflow from the Alemany Farmer’s Market, but these rumored inquiries apparently went nowhere. Instead, a ground level apartment has been carved out if the former storefront, with a familiar Lowes-style vinyl window in front. It’s not particularly pretty, but for the moment it’s a big improvement.

PHOTO: Neighbor Lessley

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13 Responses to Last Vestiges of Infamous Nasser Market Disappear

  1. Frank P says:

    I remember that market fondly as Wong’s in the 60′s,70′s and early 80′s, (the family lived upstairs). Great place to run down and pick up the afternoon paper (Examiner), fresh sourdough and a carton of milk. That market along with Sun Valley Dairy were the only grocery stores within walking distance to the Alemany Projects so the place was busy now and then.
    Tragedy struck that family as well when Mrs. Wong was shot and killed during a robbery in ’68 or ’69. The family kept the store going following her death but as each of the Wong kids grew up and went to college there was less help for dad. Mr. Wong eventually retired.

  2. Lupe says:

    I remember the sad story very well, and it still angers me that a group of thugs could cause so much damage and pain to a family and a community. The “corner market” is as much a part of SF as the bodegas in New York, the place to run and pick up some milk or bread (and for the those with a sweet tooth, a candy bar), rather than shlep to the out of the way chain grocery store. It is unfortunate that another market did not open there, but it will be less painful to see an apartment than the “Nasser Market” sign and constantly be reminded of a terrible tragedy.

  3. Pat says:

    My grandfather and his brother-in-law had a market on Crescent Ave. in the early 1920′s I believe….

  4. Does anybody know if the guys who killed Tong Van Le where ever convicted? I would like to read up on that so if anybody has a link or something to share…

  5. anthonyb415 says:

    I remember going to Nasser Market on a regular basis when I was a kid.. Sad its come to this.

  6. Lessley says:

    Here is a story about the trial http://bit.ly/JfGkmJ

  7. Thanks, i’ve read a few articles about the story but still can’t find the verdict.
    Anybody know if there was a conviction?

  8. mike coleman says:

    I am pretty sure that City Code demands wood windows [not vinyl] facing the street.

  9. Ann PL says:

    I am from the “Wong’s” generation as well. If I am not mistaken, after Mr Wong it was Vicente’s or something like that. The store was owned by one of my middle school classmate’s family.

  10. I got an email from a journalist at the Pacific Sun and as of right now the jury is still deliberating and we could see a vertict sometime this month. In case anyone else was wondering.

  11. Lupe says:

    @paperjampress – I truly hope that justice is served.

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