COVID-19 Leads to Closure of the Stud, SF's Oldest LGBT Bar

by John Ferranini

Bay Area Reporter

Thursday May 21, 2020

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 May 21 at 2 p.m.)

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."

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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