Online Extra: COVID-19 leads to closure of the Stud, SF's oldest LGBT bar

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday May 20, 2020
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The Stud will permanently close, according to a co-op owner. Photo: Courtesy the Stud Collective
The Stud will permanently close, according to a co-op owner. Photo: Courtesy the Stud Collective

The Stud, San Francisco's oldest continuously-operating LGBT club, will be closing its doors permanently, according to a news release from Honey Mahogany, a co-owner of the South of Market establishment.

A news release sent the evening of May 20 states that a drag funeral will take place via Zoom on May 21 at 2 p.m.

In a subsequent email, Mahogany said that a news conference will be held instead on May 21; the drag funeral is set for May 31.

In a phone call with the B.A.R. after this story was initially published, Mahogany said that while the Stud will be closing its 399 Ninth Street location, it hopes to secure a new location and further information will be relayed at Thursday's news conference.

"We do plan on reopening," Mahogany said. "We haven't found a building yet. At some point we will reopen. We will have a press conference tomorrow to talk about it and will have the drag funeral May 31."

While Mahogany did respond to the B.A.R. after this story was published, the original news release was headlined "The Stud, SF's Oldest Gay Bar, To Announce Permanently Closing of Location."

The Zoom news conference will include Mahogany, District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), drag artist and stud owner Vivianne Forevermore!, and general manager and Stud owner Rachel Ryan. Mahogany is a legislative aide for Haney.

"The Stud is the country's only cooperatively owned LGBT venue and has been in operation for 55 years," the news release states. "Because of a lack of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic bar will be announcing that they are permanently closing their location and will be holding a drag funeral to honor the end of an era of LGBT nightlife."

The Stud opened in 1966. It almost closed in 2016 after a rent increase but was saved by the co-op of performers, DJs and others.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported, the designation of parts of South of Market as the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District was celebrated with a ribbon cutting there in 2018.

The B.A.R. will update this story as more information becomes available.

Updated: 5/20/20: This article has been updated to note a news conference is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, at 2 p.m. and add comments from Honey Mahogany.

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