San Francisco’s oldest LGBTQ bar, The Stud, is closing its doors after 54 years in business. The owners said they no longer pay rent on a building that has been sitting empty since the Covid-19 stay-at-home order went into effect.
It was first announced Wednesday that the famed bar and performance venue, which hosted performers such as Etta James, Lady Gaga and RuPaul at 399 Ninth St., will close by the end of the month. Some of the bar’s co-owners made it official at an online press conference Thursday afternoon.
Honey Mahogany, one of the bar owners and legislative aide to Supervisor Matt Haney, said there are no current plans for a new venue, but said owners could continue to accrue debt if they choose to find a new location:
“We know that one day and hopefully someday soon, we’re going to have to find the place that will … require some construction and it’s going to take a lot of money, and we couldn’t continue in good conscience to accrue debt that would prevent us from being able to make that move successfully.”
Drag performer VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! and co-owner said:
“We knew that we couldn’t stay here forever and we are looking for our forever home and we intend to open as soon as we can.”
City and state officials weighed in on the closure, saying the loss of The Stud is a loss for The City.
Supervisor Matt Haney said that this is not the end for the famed bar:
“I want to be very clear to everyone who is a part of The Stud family that I will do everything in my power as the supervisor that currently represents this stuff to make sure that The Stud returns.”
State Sen. Scott Wiener said that as a gay man, this was personal to him:
“These are places where we find our community, where so many generations of LGBTQ people have gone to nightlife venues to find their community to understand that they’re not alone.”
Mahogany said a funeral will be held for The Stud on May 31. More information can be found at Studsf.com. A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up to raise donations for startup costs for a new location.