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The Stud, SF’s Oldest Queer Bar, is Closing

Updated: May 21, 2020 10:25
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Goddamnit. This one hurts. The Stud is closing. Goddamnit.

First opened in 1966, The Stud has had lived in multiple locations over the past 54 but it’s been in its current location on 9th Street for quite some time now. In fact, it was set to close for good in 2016 but was saved by a co-op of bartenders, DJs, drag queens, and other nightlife luminaries. Up until COVID hit, The Stud was not only the oldest continuously-operating LGBTQ club in San Francisco, it was also the only cooperatively Queer owned club in the nation. And not it’s COVID’s latest victim.

The closing of The Stud is not a total surprise. Despite being saved in 2016, the folks who bought it knew this iteration of The Stud was only a limited run. The developers who built the huge set of condos next door own the property The Stud sits on, and the past four years have just been a series of negotiations between the co-op and the landlords to decide when The Stud would have to close. It will ultimately be developed into something else. But we all hoped it wouldn’t be this soon.

I fucking LOVE The Stud. It’s quite truly one of my favorite bars in the entire world. It’s dark and dive and full of beautiful weirdoes. It’s a place where all are welcome as long as they are respectful of everyone else. Even though it’s a Queer bar, I still felt welcomed and at home, despite me being hopelessly straight. The Stud was a place that emphatically said “YES!” in a town that more and more seemed to say no. It reminded me of the San Francisco I fell in love with 20 years ago. I mean, where else in the world would you find a Never Ending Story themed drag show?

If we’re lucky though this won’t be the end. General Manager and co-owner Rachel Ryan told me, “But we ain’t done. We are already plotting for our return.”

I fucking hope so. The world needs The Stud far more than The Stud need the world.

In the meantime you can support The Stud Collective at their Patreon page and their GoFundMe.

There’s a press conference about the closing and the future of the club tomorrow (Thursday) at 2pm via Zoom. At the press conference they will be announcing a Drag Funeral, which will take place March 31st at 6pm. It will be their last day at 399 9th St.

If you’d like the watch the press conference the details are right here:

Use this link and see instructions below:

Meeting ID: 817 6260 2402

Password: 7vSrpN

One tap mobile +16699009128,,81762602402#,,1#,520459#

Dial by your location        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

Dial in Meeting ID: 817 6260 2402

Dial in Password: 520459


a. Use the above link

b. Use of a computer/laptop is preferred.

2. The host will turn the video off for all press participants.

3. Participants will be muted upon entry. Please remain on mute to avoid background noise.

4. The host will enable your access to record the virtual press conference. Please send a message via the chat feature if we miss you.

6. If you experience any logistical issues, please text Han Zou at 203-695-4860 for a quicker response.

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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 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.