San Francisco’s oldest surviving gay bar, The Stud, which opened in 1966 will be forced to close it’s doors and nor reopen at it’s current location becoming another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legendary gay bar had already survived one close call when it almost closed in 2016 after a rent increase but was saved by a co-op of performers, JJs and others regulars who came together to save it.
Co-owners, journalist Marke Bieschke, offered more details on 48Hills. He confirmed that The Stud would not return to its current home.
As a member of the Stud Collective, a wonderful group of 17 friends that purchased the Stud in 2016, in order to save it after a huge rent hike, I am weeping for that beautiful, scrappy space—its gold and red velvet-and sequined curtains parting for kooky drag shows, its graffiti-laden bathroom stalls, its very naughty green room, its dance floor packed with gorgeous creatures from all walks—that was such a vibrant and essential part of the community.
But for now, what else can we do? Like other bars and businesses, we must still keep paying rent indefinitely while being unable to bring in revenue [COVID-19 Business} Loans and grants pretty much go directly to landlords and utilities, who are the true government-subsidized businesses here, in an arduous, arcane process that looks more and more like a bizarre money-laundering scheme.
Here’s the thing, though: The Stud, the nightlife entity, is not dead. We’re still going to come back when this is over—a different space with the same lovingly outrageous vibe.