San Francisco’s oldest gay bar announced on Tuesday it is closing its doors for good. First opened in 1966 and famed thereafter for its drag shows, art motel, and other live performances, The Stud had planned to open on May 1, but the continuing economic lockdown made it impossible to stay afloat at their famed SOMA address.
“Hello sweet Stud family, friends and lovers,” the Stud posted on Instagram. “I know you have seen some abrupt news about The Stud this evening. You reaching out means the world to us right now. We want to let you know now that we are not reopening our location at 399 9th st.”
In true Stud fashion, however, the bar announced plans for “a drag funeral to honor the end of an era of LGBT nightlife.”
The Stud has been a cultural icon and landmark in the LGBTQ+ community for over fifty decades, pre-dating Stonewall by three years. It was famed for it’s drag shows and other live performances. During the 1980s, the bar transformed the motel next door into The Art Motel, where each room contained work from local artists ranging from painting to performance art.
The news hit the local LGBTQ+ community hard, as evidenced by the comments left on The Stud’s Facebook page..
Bruce Liebert commented on Facebook that The Stud was “where I spent my formative years. So many nights in the booth with Larry LaRue & John Geraldo. My Sis Sherry behind the bar. The best of times for a long long time. The Stud will be missed.”
For those wishing to help, The Stud has set up a GoFundMe page for their employees. “The Stud Collective wants to prioritize support for our staff -- our bartenders, coat check, security team and amazing janitor -- all donations will go directly to them,” they indicated.
While the news is distressing, co-owner Honey Mahogany did issue a ray of hope.
"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."