Aunt Charlie’s Lounge Hits Fundraising Goal, Bar Will Survive
The last remaining LGBTQ+ bar in the Tenderloin is not going anywhere. We reported last week that Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, the 33-year-old nightclub that we think is the best drag queen dive bar in the world, was in serious danger of closing on August 1 if they could not get a GoFundMe infusion of $100,000. But news broke yesterday that they hit their goal, and the shows will go on once bars are allowed to open again in San Francisco.
“I am absolutely over the moon that the community came together to save Aunt Charlie’s,” crowdfund campaign organizer DJ Myles Cooper told SFGATE. “I am touched that so many people value the space and find it is in line with their values.”
The bar passed it’s $100,000 crowdfunding goal at some point Monday, as acknowledged in a separate Facebook post. “Your loving donations have ranged from $5 to $10,000 (from one of our favorite people…an angel named “anonymous!”),” the post says. “ALL of them are appreciated beyond words.”
Aunt Charlie’s Lounge is home to the legendary party Tubesteak Connection hosted by DJ Bus Station John. The club has also hosted (before shelter-in-place) the weekend drag show The Hot Boxxx Girls every Friday and Saturday, a show founded by the late Vicki Marlane, for whom that block of Turk Street is now renamed.
It’s unclear exactly when the bar will reopen. While Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest orders allow bars to reopen Friday June 12, it is unlikely that San Francisco will allow bars to reopen that day. Mayor London Breed is allowing sit-down dining for restaurants on Friday, but bars are currently not allowed to reopen until mid-August. Nightlife activists Helkina and Ben Blieman are circulating an online petition asking Breed to move that up to July 13.