BoozeSan Francisco

The New Blackbird Bar in the Castro

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Sometime last week a friend hit me up to let me know that he was working at a place that was about to open called The Blackbird, and that I should come through on opening night.  I was certainly interested in seeing what they’d done to the place.  The last time I was in there it was called Expansion Bar, an un-busy place patronized by semiprofessional drunks and florescently lit like the deli counter at Safeway.  Expansion’s most charming feature was that it served $2 beers all day on Tuesdays.  That will surely be missed.

The Blackbird is about as different from the Expansion as you could possibly imagine.  Granted, I was there on opening night, but the place was packed with a hip and good looking clientele that was roughly 70% gay and 30% straight.  It’s almost certainly the kind of bar where “straight” men from out of town will meet a guy who ends up blowing them by the end of the night (only to spend the rest of the weekend questioning their sexuality and wondering how much to tell their girlfriend about the trip to San Francisco).

Strange but highly likable

Strange but highly likable

In terms of decor, the Blackbird looks great.  The walls are covered with old newspapers and the art that hangs there looks like it was done by highly talented and possibly mentally disabled children.  The dim lighting and music selection ranging from Erykah Badu to Phil Collins helps give the bar a laid back vibe  and the $3 Buds and $2.50 PBR ensure that place is friendly to Broke-Asses.

All in all, I pin it as a place to hang out on weekday nights, when the crowd won’t be too thick and you won’t have to wait too long to play pool or make-out in the photo booth.

The Blackbird
2124 Market St. near Church St. [Castro]
$3 Buds and $2.50 PBRs

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website BrokeAssStuart.com is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, Geek.com and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

4 Comments

  1. Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)
    July 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I really had no intention of liking this place. There’s some unseemly back story and after all, nothing could really ever replace the Expansion. I will say, however, that they finally must have gotten the right people involved, because its not too shabby at the end of the day.

  2. one
    August 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

    ha ha that was funny you said retarded..ha ha. it’s called marketing.

  3. August 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Hey Stuart!

    Checkin’ out your blog. 🙂

    Typo? “It’s almost certainly the kind of bar where “straight” men from out of will meet a guy…” should it be “…out of town…”?

    I too loved the comment about art being done by “highly talented and possibly retarded children.” ha!

    All the best
    xo