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San Franciscan Refused Service For Looking Queer

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How Bubbles often looks on a night out. (image from Bubbles’ Facebook page.)

Read the update at the bottom of the article

This just floated across my Facebook feed.

Anthony Torres, known as Bubbles, shared this audio of himself being refused service at Ace’s for how he looks.

As you can hear, its quite alarming. The bartender literally says he won’t serve Bubbles because of the way he looks.

I reached out to Bubbles to hear how it went down. This is what he said:

“I had one drink and when I tried to buy another the bartender told me that he’d talked to the manager and that they wouldn’t serve me because of how I look. I’ve gone there plenty of times because it’s one of the only bars left that opens at 6am. I couldn’t believe the humiliation I felt. I couldn’t believe this was San Francisco”

Tamie, a witness to the whole thing posted this on Bubbles’ page:

“I thought I would never see the day that someone was asked to leave a bar because the owner didn’t like the way she looked … And because of their chose of sexual orientation … Yes peeps .. The bartender actually referred to this beautiful spirit as an “It”…..My heart melted and cried out for Bubbles. And the bar was Aces.. I’m outraged at how in 2016 discrimination is still alive and well”

I’ve been a fan of Ace’s for years so this is quite a let down.

Update: 12:53pm

I just got off the phone with Scott Broccoli one of the owners of Ace’s. This is what he had to say

Jake (the bartender in the audio) was fired immediately after I found out about this. This is tragic and I am disgusted by what happened. No owner or manager would’ve said that. It’s absurd. There is no chance in hell that we would discriminate at Ace’s. Not only is this San Francisco, this is 2016. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

Scott mentioned that he is reaching out to Bubbles so that he can apologize himself.

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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 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, 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.


  1. Mike Talley
    April 15, 2016 at 11:58 am

    it’s perfectly alright for an establishment to have a dress code. However, if that dress code is not publicly posted, or arbitrarily or selectively enforced or (as in this case) nonexistent, then this sort of thing is both unacceptable and has legal ramifications.

    • Brian Hildman
      April 15, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      umm….a dive bar that opens at 6am has a dress code?

      I’ll just assume you meant this is how the policy should be enforced in general, regardless of the bar

  2. Becka R.
    April 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    This feels worse given what SF has been going through for the past few years. Clearly, they’re asking for a beer bust invasion of gender noncomformers and queers. They’re on twitter at @acesbar, btw – my tweet has gone unanswered thus far.

    • Hata H. Zappa
      April 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      I’m glad your tweet has gone unanswered. Can we not go there just this once? The guy was fired and there may be an employee talk planned in the future, and why don’t you just let it play out to it’s logical extent. I mean, I know this is San Francisco, the Mecca where no one ever lets anything go, but LET IT THE EFF GO!

      • Sugar Magnolia Edwards
        May 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

        There “MAY BE an employee talk in the future”? Just cuz if u were a betting man u’d bet on it (as u said above)? And becca’s idea of a queer/gender non conforming folks packing the place sounds scary or bad or punishing to u? I think they’d b stoked! It would probably be the best party in town- I’d surely go!

  3. April 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Good that this was made public but even better that they condemn this incident immediately and fired the guy…

  4. Hata H. Zappa
    April 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    This bartender’s rogue action is upsetting and I’m sure that he’s regretting it now. I’m also glad that the owner expressed the kind of offense that I tend to feel whenever I watch some white person go on a racist tirade against people of color. It’s clear that this was handled in a timely fashion and if I was a betting man, the owners will be engaging their employees in some kind of discussion about sensitivity (or at least not being a prick to others because you don’t like the way they’re dressed). I hope that the person who was tossed out also doesn’t spend too much time dwelling on the subject and making it worse with any kind of defeatist or self-destructive thinking. Because this is heteronormative looksism at its finest and it needs to be rooted out at an institutional level.

    That said, I have a NEWS FLASH for all of you about ready to the storm the gates at Normandy: this is between Bubbles and the bar. It doesn’t concern you. Let me repeat that: IT DOESN’T CONCERN YOU!!!!! There’s no need to go guerilla queer on the bar and there’s no need to talk yourselves down from invisible ledges of offense. It’s one thing when offensive actions happen and it’s another thing to express that offense, but San Francisco takes this mess to the nth degree, and doing that DOESN’T HELP ANYONE, especially not you! There’s nothing more to see here at this time, SO JUST FECKEN MOVE ON!

  5. Zenslinger
    April 15, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Jake is annoyed with Bubbles, and stupidly uses her appearance as an excuse for kicking her out. He’s a cranky old guy who works mornings, and he lost his job as he should have, but this was no big anti-gay conspiracy or anything. Plenty of gay people come in, ask Dave.

  6. Patrick Colson
    April 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    This BaR goes out of it’s way to be kind to the most annoying of degenerates. this one bartender does not represent the great people who drink and work here. I concider most of them to be family. I have never seen some one asked to leave who didn’t deserve. How about before condemning an entire establishment you get all the info.

  7. 3300Club
    April 17, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    3300 Club opens early and we are a lot less judgemental. 6am on weekends and 8am during the week!