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Community Bands Together To Save San Francisco’s Iconic Stud Bar

by matt baume August 05, 2016

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Cities change, hairstyles evolve, interest rates fluctuate, but sometimes it’s hard to let go of the past. San Francisco might just manage to hold onto a sliver of the city it once was, thanks to a co-op partnership of beautiful artists, politicians, and fundraisers.

San Francisco, renowned as a beacon of creativity, has been in the process of evicting all but the super-wealthy for the last few years. It was only a matter of time before the city’s new owners turned their gaze to The Stud, a ramshackle building where some of the wildest, most creative queer culture in the world was invented and perfected. The Stud’s managed to evade the hands of developers for some time because it was located in a sketchy neighborhood, but when the former landlords sold the property, the new owners more than doubled the rent.

For a while, it looked like the bar might have to shut down — a sad state of affairs, given how crucial gay bars are to the community. Or it would do what everyone else in San Francisco’s been doing for the last five years: decide whether to move to Oakland, Portland, Austin, or Seattle. (Sidebar: have you seen some of the incredible drag coming out of Seattle lately? Check out Cucci’s Critter Barn or Glitterbeast or Mimosas Cabaret and get ready to have your mind blown.)

But then a group of about 15 tough San Franciscans got together with a plan: they’d raise the money needed to secure a long-term lease to keep the Stud where it is. So far, so good — they’ve raised the money, and now they’re pushing for negotiations with the landlords.

That doesn’t mean that the bar is saved yet. They still need to sit down together and work out a deal. And in order to satisfy the rent demands levied by the crazy-rich people who now own San Francisco, The Stud will have to become a lot more profitable than it once was.

Best of luck to all parties involved. You’re going to need it. And remember: Portland ain’t so bad.




matt baume
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