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SF’s Oldest Gay Bar “The Stud” is Coming Back!

The country’s only cooperatively owned LGBT bar is coming back to a new location in SoMa in early 2024
By - posted 9/5/2023 No Comment

The Stud, the country’s only cooperatively owned LGBT bar that had been in operation for 54 years but shut down in May of 2020 is coming back!

SF’s oldest Gay Bar dating back to 1966 was originally located on Folsom where Holy Cow is now. In 1987 the bar moved to 9th Street where it was for 33 years until it shut down with a drag funeral on May 31, 2020 in the midst of COVID.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the end for The Stud and they finally have a new venue, moving just a few blocks away having signed a contract to buy 1123 Folsom St. (btwn 7th and 8th) in SoMa in SF’s historic Leather District, previously home to Trademark sports bar which also recently hosted the pop-up “Golden Girls Kitchen” experience.

When Will the Stud Reopen?
The Stud says they “will open by the end of winter” – But that’s a bit vague for our tastes. We’re assuming that means sometime before March 2024. The Chronicle says that it should reopen “early next year.”

How Can You Help?
The Stud say that it will take about $500,000 to turn the former sports bar into a fabulous drag bar complete with stage, dressing rooms, DJ booths, etc… Donate on GiveButter (currently they are at $24,000 of the needed $500,000)


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The Stud is Coming Back… But We Need Your Help!

The Stud is San Francisco’s oldest LGBT bar and one of the world’s most famous drag bars… And we just signed a lease on a new spot that will open by the end of winter!

We’ve been saving money and looking for a new home for our 57-year-old venue (she still acts 21) since we were forced to close our doors during the pandemic. And last month we signed a contract to buy the perfect bar (1123 Folsom Street) on the main commercial corridor of San Francisco’s historic Leather District (where everyone gets nasty for Folsom Street Fair.)

Buuuuuut this is San Francisco… and buying a bar is insanely expensive… and that’s before we even start construction. It’s not cheap to turn a straight sports bar into a fabulous drag bar, and we’re going to need to build everything from scratch. That includes a stage, dressing rooms for the girls, a dance floor, (a dark room,) and DJ booths, and you know we have to bring in a top-of-the-line sound system for the world famous DJs that love the Stud.

Queer, straight, trade, family, frenemies and exes… We’re going to need the entire music and nightlife community, all over the world, to help us with this one. If everyone who’s ever had an amazing night out at the Stud donates what they can—we’ll be able to open in a few months.

What’s the Tea On the New Space?

You know we love our history… and the new space we found is hella historic. In the early 70s it was the site of a collectively owned (yay!!) vegetarian restaurant called Wellsprings Reunion. But the collective was eventually unmasked as a front for an armed revolutionary cult (ewwww) whose members were implicated in the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, the San Francisco assassination attempt on Gerald Ford, and a shoot-out at a food-coop that ended with multiple deaths (okay seriously that part really sucks.)

When the now famous Julie’s Supper Club took over the space in the 80’s, they found cult graffiti on the walls of the upstairs office and a weird space in the basement that everyone has told us is one of the places where Patty Hearst was held (we love you Patty…you’re an ally, girl.)

The new location will be double the size of our notoriously crowded old space, we’ll have two bars, a new stage and sound system… and best of all, multiple working toilets (no more having to squat in the piss trough, ladies.) And we’re definitely bringing back the crazy collections of queer, chotchkes that made the design of the Stud so awesome.

But we are gonna need that coin… seriously. I know everyone is kind of over this asking for money shit, but if you can help us on this one and share this on your socials, we need you.

Why Should I help?

Because you love the Stud. And you love our vibrant Queer Community. And you love this city. There’s a lot of talk about how San Francisco is over, or we’re falling into a doom loop (which might be the name of our new goth night.) And look, we know we got some problems, but our community has thrived during much worse (I mean, the city literally burned to the ground, girl.) The Stud has been there through wars, and plagues, and good times and bad. We just want to make sure that it’s here for the next generation of San Francisco weirdos.

The Stud is the first collectively owned queer bar in the country. That means none of the worker-owners ever take home profit. We do this because we love the Stud, and we love all of you. Help us make this dream a reality.


The Stud Collective

Those who wish to help the Stud reopen can donate at https://givebutter.com/Stud2024