After 50 Years, Iconic San Francisco Gay Bar On The Verge Of Closing

Save The Stud!

San Francisco could be losing another legendary gay bar.

Following a rent increase of 300%, the iconic gay bar The Stud could be forced to close its doors revealed owner Michael McElhaney this past Sunday at an emergency meeting with the club’s employees.

“Throwing an anniversary and Pride with all that shit going down was really difficult,” McElhaney said, stating that the building was put into escrow to be sold on June 20. SFist reports that “between the rent increase and health concerns for his mother, he (McElhaney) is returning to his home state of Hawaii and relinquishing The Stud.”

The rent increase will go into effect on September 1.

Within hours of the meeting a community co-op was formed with intentions to buy the bar, and possibly move locations to avoid the rent hike.

“In addition, bartender Brian Feagins offered to pay The Stud’s increased September rent of $9,480, an offer that drew cheers from the assembled crowd and would potentially buy this effort one more month,” reports SFist who was present at the meeting that mostly consisted of employees, promoters and performers of the club.

The Stud is two weeks away from celebrating its 50th anniversary. Opened in 1966, the bar is The Stud is the oldest continuously operating South of Market gay bar, and the last bar from the Folsom Street “Miracle Mile” gay take-over of the neighborhood in the 1960s.

Go Bang DJ Steve Fabus told SFist:

“The Stud has always been a place of inclusion where you can fly your freak flag high. Crowds have been tripping on sounds there from psychedelic 60’s rock to disco and punk of the 70’s, to New Wave, house, industrial, acid and techno of the 80’s and 90’s to the present time.”

The club moved to its present location in 1987, and McElhaney bought the bar in 1996, enjoying great success with popular parties such as Trannyshack and visits from celebs like Lady Gaga.

“This bar has never belonged to me. It has belonged to the community,” said McElhaney at Sunday’s meeting.

If you want to be involved with the movement to save The Stud please email

h/t: SFist

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."