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John Waters to Help Open ‘Thee Stork Club’ in Oakland

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When The Stork Club closed in May 2020, one of the Bay Area’s oldest dive bars was presumed dead.

A May 19 post on the bar’s Facebook page lamented, “Well folks … that’s IT … end of an era & another nail in the coffin of Rock ‘n Roll.” And it was the end of an era. That is, an era under the ownership of Micki Chittock and her son and manager, Tom Chittock.

On July 1, The Stork Club will reopen as Thee Stork Club, a titular tribute to garage rock subculture.  

The grand opening will feature several special guests, namely, cult filmmaker and “Pope of Trash” John Waters, DJ Chris Owen of Budget Rock Festival and Shannon Shaw of garage-punk quartet Shannon and the Clams.

Promotional poster

Oakland’s Stork Club reopens on July 1 as Thee Stork Club. Cult filmmaker John Waters, singer-songwriter Shannon Shaw and DJ Chris Owen will featured at the opening-night festivities. (Photo courtesy Thee Stork Club)

Stork Club patrons can salute Marc Ribak and Amy Carver of Total Trash Productions and Mosswood Meltdown for the reanimation of the legendary Oakland dive bar, along with co-owners Billy Joe Agan and Matt Patane of Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. With the help of Tony Bedard, the longtime talent booker of San Francisco’s now-demolished Hemlock Tavern, Ribak intends to book at least five shows and 15 bands each week.

New and returning patrons to Thee Stork Club can expect ’70s-era kitsch, a “Suspiria”-esque “red room” and dining area, and your choice of heavily garnished cocktails or cheap tall boys.

Thee Stork Club Grand Reopening Party hosted by John Water and featuring live music from Shannon Shaw takes place at 9 p.m. July 1 at Thee Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. For details, visit

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Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky

Lydia Sviatoslavsky covers culture and curiosities for Bay City News and Broke-Ass Stuart. She publishes artist interviews and experimental writing at You can find her on Instagram at @rot_thought.