Widely pre-panned YOLO Nightclub, in the former Slim’s, set to open June 18

Image: Pure Nightclub via Yelp
By Joe Kukura - Published on June 10, 2021.

The name alone elicited groans when we learned last August that the shuttered but storied 30-year-old South of Market nightclub Slim’s would be reopened as an EDM dance club called YOLO which would only schedule DJs, and no live music. The initial reaction was less than outstanding. “Slim's replaced by nightclub with really terrible name,” declared SFGate. Broke-Ass Stuart had the similar take “Slim’s to be Replaced by ‘YOLO’ Nightclub Douchefest.”

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A post shared by YOLO Nightclub (@yolonightclub)


That ‘fest is set to begin with a “soft opening” next Friday, June 18, according to the above Instagram announcement from the club. Per KQED’s reporting when YOLO got its Entertainment Commission permit, “YOLO's booking will tag-team with Pure Nightclub,” a Sunnydale lounge club also owned by this ownership team of Michael Hu and Peter Lin.

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A post shared by Pure Night Club (@purenightclub408)


The image atop this post shows the curiously all-female server staff at Pure Nightclub, and yes, they are all wearing t-shirts that say “Mustard on the Beat, Hoe,” on tops with ripped-down necklines. Photos on Pure Nightclub’s Yelp page show a very conspicuous divide between the apparel that men and women are wearing, and well, this is their homepage.


That’s not an accident. Above we see the highly-gendered “dress code policy” YOLO Nightclub will enforce, which happens to be pretty much the exact same dress code policy as their sister club Pure. “Men are not allowed to wear shorts or wife-beaters,” the policy declares. (Sir! These days, we call them “tank tops,” and that is not a particularly recent cultural shift, either.) 

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A post shared by YOLO Nightclub (@yolonightclub)


Yet, oddly, photos from their Instagram depict women in tank tops, with the obligatory “no bra” and nipple poke.

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A post shared by YOLO Nightclub (@yolonightclub)


Hoodline cannot say with certainty that YOLO will have an all-female server staff forced to essentially parade around in lingerie. A search on their available jobs on Craigslist does not show any cocktail server positions. But Hoodline can say with certainty that a review of their Instagram photos shows that women are always depicted in highly sexualized fashion, whereas the men are never depicted in sexualized fashion.

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A post shared by YOLO Nightclub (@yolonightclub)


Who knows, maybe this extremely heteronormative and binary differential treatment of beefcake and cheesecake will be a hit in famously LGBTQ+ San Francisco. Certainly there are some upscale clubs here where the men tend to wear suits and the women tend to show a little skin. But this is never enforced as a specific policy. 

A club where men are barred from wearing tank tops, but women wear them very snugly, also might not be a good fit for San Francisco. There’s only one way to find out, and the club named for the phrase “You Only Live Once” will live at least once — but its lifespan is anyone's guess.


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