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Venerable San Francisco LGBTQ bar the Stud reopens at new location

The Stud, one of San Francisco's oldest gay bars, reopens at new location for first time since COVID
The Stud, one of San Francisco's oldest gay bars, reopens at new location for first time since COVID 03:01

One of San Francisco's oldest LGBTQ bars, on Saturday the Stud re-opened it's doors for the first time in four years at a new location.

The Stud closed early in the pandemic, but the co-owner Nate Allbee says they always planned to re-open. The bar has been raising money to do that since they announced plans to shut down in 2020.  

"If we had tried to stick it out, we would have ended up like a lot of small businesses, in debt," Allbee said, explaining why they needed to temporarily close.

Patrons lined up around the street to get a chance to go inside. John Geluso was the first person in line. He says he's been supporting the Stud for years.

"It's been a great party! A good time, lots of good people. It's fun every time." Geluso said.

Allbee says over the last four years, they've been hosting events and selling t-shirts, all in hopes of collecting enough money to re-open a new location.

They were able to buy the space at 1123 Folsom Street that used to be a sports bar.

"There's a commercial kitchen back here that we need to remove. There's no need to have food in the Stud," Allbee said.

They plan to eventually transform the kitchen area into a stage for live performances.

"We still have to raise some more money. We are essentially a non-profit. We make no money off the bar at all," Allbee said about their future plans to build out the space. "Any money we make goes directly back into the bar and we've been really reliant on the community to help us when we need them and to come through. So we're very close to our goal and to raising that final $75,000 to build our stage and bring drag back to the Stud."

Once the stage is built, they will not only host drag shows, but also a drag school. The bar has been in existance for nearly 60 years at different locations in San Francisco.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin was at the re-opening to support the legacy business,

"The Stud is synomous with San Francisco," Peskin said, he stopped by to support the re-opening. "This ihs one of the great institution."

Allbee believes being in San Francisco is part of what makes the Stud great, and he's happy to be a business owner within the city.

"We don't believe the narrative that San Francisco is over, that there's a doom loop," Allbee said. "San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world. SHe is not going anywhere."

The Folsom Street space is double the size of the Stud's old location. 

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