BARtab :: BARchive

Lenny Mollet — The Godfather of Chez Mollet and other bars

Lenny Mollet — The Godfather of Chez Mollet and other bars

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Jan 24, 2019

Lenny Mollet was a Grand Duke of the Ducal Court, the president of the Tavern Guild, and one of a generation of gay men who fought for a place of their own in the city. He owned a gay bar in San Francisco a decade and a half before the Stonewall riots.

Ministers, homophiles and raging cops - How a raucous New Year's Day ball changed San Francisco

Ministers, homophiles and raging cops - How a raucous New Year's Day ball changed San Francisco

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Dec 26, 2018

History sometimes seems ruled by events with unintended consequences. That certainly is the case with the Mardi Gras Ball at California Hall, which happened on January 1, 1965. It's an event that's been called 'San Francisco's Stonewall.'

A Celebration of Streetbar - How the first gay bar in Palm Springs signaled a change

A Celebration of Streetbar - How the first gay bar in Palm Springs signaled a change

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Nov 28, 2018

Palm Springs has been associated with the gay community for a very long time. But it wasn't always friendly. Streetbar became a pioneering business by breaking new gay ground in 1991.

When Polk Street Exploded: Tear gas, murder and the tradition of the Halloween buses

When Polk Street Exploded: Tear gas, murder and the tradition of the Halloween buses

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Oct 24, 2018

Mention Halloween violence in the LGBT community, and most people think of events of the last decade, which ended the closing of Castro Street for the holiday. But history does repeat itself, as the '60s and'70s Halloween celebrations prove.

Live from the Stud! - Etta James, Sylvester and more - when live music first ruled Folsom Street

Live from the Stud! - Etta James, Sylvester and more - when live music first ruled Folsom Street

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Sep 19, 2018

When we think of entertainment in our bars, the chances are that we think of drag performances or DJs more often than live music. But from the 1960s to the 1980s at the Stud (then at 1535 Folsom Street), live performances often ruled the night.

Charles Pierce: a male actress to remember

Charles Pierce: a male actress to remember

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Aug 22, 2018

Charles Pierce's connection to San Francisco history is easily lost due to his larger than life personality and his talent.

Beats, Bohemians and Bars: Jack Spicer, Allen Ginsberg and their circle's San Francisco haunts

Beats, Bohemians and Bars: Jack Spicer, Allen Ginsberg and their circle's San Francisco haunts

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Jul 25, 2018

A literary spark started fires on both U.S. coasts following World War II. The Beat writers in New York and the Berkeley renaissance poets in the Bay Area started out separately, but they converged in a conflagration that burns to this day.

Frank Banks, musical master of The Mint

Frank Banks, musical master of The Mint

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Jun 20, 2018

From 1975 to 1988 Frank Banks was both defined by and helped define The Mint (1942 Market) in San Francisco. He would go on to play other bars before he left and his presence here was felt all the way to City Hall, but The Mint was his home.

Laverne, surely

Laverne, surely

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • May 23, 2018

When Laverne Cummings died in a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas on March 22, 2018, we lost more than an astounding artist, vocalist and female impersonator. We lost a connection to a world that is quickly fading from view.

Our Lady of the Phone Booth

Our Lady of the Phone Booth

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Apr 25, 2018

Linda Pancost's forty years of gay bars in San Francisco included The Tower Lounge and The Phone Booth.

BARchive :: Café Back in the Day

BARchive :: Café Back in the Day

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Mar 18, 2018

The late 1980s saw something of an explosion of women's venues, which was followed shortly thereafter with an implosion. Café San Marcos found itself in an unusual situation: Was it a mixed bar or a women's bar?

BARchive :: Fair Trade

BARchive :: Fair Trade

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Feb 18, 2018

Late in 2016, the press buzzed with word of tunnels beneath the 900 block of Market Street that provided escape routes from bars. There was more underground about these bars than tunnels, however. They were a hotbed of trade.

BARchive :: Michael Greer - Honorary San Franciscan

BARchive :: Michael Greer - Honorary San Franciscan

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Jan 21, 2018

There is a special kind of performer who is somewhat well known by the world at large, but held a special place in the heart of San Franciscans. The actor, comic and writer Michael Greer was one of these performers.

BARchive :: How the Holidays Kept Hope Alive in the Midst of AIDS

BARchive :: How the Holidays Kept Hope Alive in the Midst of AIDS

  • by Michael Flanagan
  • Dec 14, 2017

The roots of our holiday traditions in the gay community run deep. It should come as no surprise that when the darkest days of the AIDS crisis hit, we responded in the spirit of the season.