Gettin' the Skinny on Beaux, Castro's Newest Nightlife Offering
by Waiyde Palmer
Many readers have noted the bar/nightclub space located at 2344 Market Street is undergoing a remodel. It's soon to reemerge, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, as Beaux, the latest venture by Tim Eicher, Rob Giljum, and Rob Cotterman, owners of the bars The Edge and Midnight Sun.
That property has a rich history serving the Castro's LGBT community as a Queer watering hole. It has the distinct honor of being the Castro's first Gay bar, Missouri Mule, when it opened in 1963.
At the time the Castro was not the epicenter of San Francisco Gay life.
As Queer service personnel mustered out of the US armed services post World War II the burgeoning SF LGBT community first took root in North Beach. As word spread that SF was a homo safe(r) space more Gay people arrived. The community migrated to include The Tenderloin. By the time the Missouri Mule opened it'd grown exponentially and was firmly entrenched in the Polk.
The Castro/Eureka Valley neighborhood was primarily still a very sleepy, quiet parish of Irish, German and Swedish blue-collar, immigrant and small business owners. By the end of the Missouri Mule's run in 1973-one short, post-Stonewall, LGBT revolutionary decade later-over thirty other Queer bars had invaded the Castro minting it the new home for all things Gay in the City.
The bar transitioned following the closing of the Mule. It's most popular incarnation, The Detour, a rough and tumble, super cruisey, dude bar where all were welcome, was one of the most infamous and beloved booze joints in the 'Stro during the 80's through early 2000's. Dark, moody, sparse in decor-black walls, limited lights, hard benches and chain link fence creating a mini-maze within its small acreage, the Detour boasted hot bartenders, cutting edge music from a wide variety of DJ's spinning Punk to House and always a dose of trouble to be found.
When The Detour closed it was an end of an era. Many Castro residents still wax poetically about the good times they had there. The space was acquired by Greg Bronstein not long after. Mr. Bronstein rechristened the bar Jet, prettied it up till it looked like a tired tart tempting tourists for a toss.
He expanded into the frame/art store next door doubling it's size and remodeled birthing yet another L'enfant terrible named Trigger. Modeled after a LA/West Hollywood, glitzy-glam boy, themed bar Trigger soon gained a rep for Twinks and trouble. Mr. Bronstein eventually had his license pulled and was forced to close after the nightclub went into receivership in 2012.
Now Beaux is ready to be the property's next torch-bearer. Castro Biscuit had a moment to speak with the clubs new Marketing Director, Joshua J Cook-aka Joshua J of Booty Call Wednesdays at QBAR-to get a sneak peek at what's to come from Beaux.
Castro Biscuit: What will be the design concept for Beaux?
Joshua J: The concept stems from the word itself BEAUX (pronounced bō or bōz), defined as a boyfriend or admirer, a dandy, handsome or beautiful. The ultimate goal is to create an ongoing love affair for the community and Beaux. Make Beaux your boyfriend in the Castro. From there we conceptualized the design of an atmospheric bar and lounge that opens up to a chic night club and dance floor.
CB: Who is doing the design?
JJ: Lauren Germenia of Germenia Designs. Germenia Designs past clients include Bloodhound on Folsom, Churchill, the Instagram offices and more. Check her out here http://geremiadesign.com/.
CB: Some readers have expressed(read that as pined in a longing way) for the return of a 'Detour' type atmosphere-what do you all hope to show people?
JJ: The owners and I all loved the Detour and spoke of its rich history and atmosphere many times when conceptualizing Beaux.
CB: Will there be outside promoters or will you be creating everything in-house?
JJ: We will be creating the majority of the programming in-house. We have a very creative team that is thrilled to be working with each other. Beaux will also be working with a select group of notable and respected outside promoters from the LGBT nightlife community.
CB: ....and the music offerings?
JJ: Music will vary depending on the day and time. We plan on showcasing a variety of sounds, styles, DJs, and producers. Beaux strives to be known for a signature upbeat, quality sound. We are proud to be working with JK Sound to create a soundscape at Beaux that is unique to the venue, delivering a quality dance experience.
CB: Will Booty move from QBAR?
JJ: Booty Call Wednesdays is a whole separate animal. I have produced that party along side Juanita More! proudly for over 5 and a half years at that Qbar. It's home to Booty Call Wednesdays and we have no plans of moving to Beaux or anywhere else.CB: Will you be having the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence come in and smudge the evil that was Trigger out of tha space? Or bless it? Or both? JJ: What a great idea. We hadn't confirmed anything, but I got ahold of Sister Roma and she says the sisters would love to come sage and bless Beaux. We would be honored to have the sisters at Beaux anytime.CB: Has your team met with any resistance from the neighborhood or neighbors regarding a club coming back to that space? Are MUMC, DTNA & CBD on board?
JJ: We've received official support from MUMC and Castro/EVNA. We've had very positive and constructive feedback from DTNA. Supervisor Wiener has been very supportive. The community has been very supportive of the direction that we're taking with Beaux.
CB: Are you hiring and if so for what, when is the deadline and where should people send resumes?
JJ: We will be hiring a full staff of bar tenders, bar backs, security, coat check all of it. Currently we are working to identify a general manager with impressive past management experience. Resumes and CVS should be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.
CB: What's the ETA on completion and opening party?
JJ: Though we do not have a set date for an opening party, we aim to open in August of 2013.
That's the news. Below are remodel pix in action. Stay tuned and we'll announce the opening party the second Joshua J lets us know!