Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on April 19, 2024
San Francisco's Legendary LGBTQ+ Club The Stud Reopens with "Time Machine" Party at SoMa's New VenueSource: Dreamyshade, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco's iconic LGBTQ+ party hub, The Stud, is ready for its glorious comeback this Saturday, April 20. After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the club is reopening at a new South of Market location, 1123-1125 Folsom Street, a spot steeped in local queer history. The Stud promises a night of revelry and remembrance with their "Stud Time Machine" party, a nostalgic journey through its illustrious past.

Sprouting its roots back in 1966, The Stud has been a sanctuary for the outlandish, the alternative, and the trailblazers of queer performance in the Bay Area. Through the years, it has endured relocations and pressure from rising rents, yet it has resiliently held its ground with the support of its community, according to SFist. On Saturday, starting at 6 pm, the rebooted space will pay homage to its diverse history, featuring special performances and DJ sets that mirror each era of The Stud's existence, with the highlight being the performance by local legends and an insight into the club's future at midnight.

In a collaborative effort to safeguard The Stud's unique identity, a group of nightlife professionals formed The Stud Collective back in 2016, taking a collective ownership approach to keep the bar's spirit alive. This move is considered significant as it marked one of the first cooperative nightclub ownerships in the nation, a testament to the bar's indelible link to the city's cultural tapestry. As detailed by KQED, co-owner Honey Mahogany highlighted the importance of collective ownership, stating, "It ensures that the space remains open."

While COVID-19 significantly affected the nightlife industry, The Stud didn't remain dark. They pivoted online with virtual drag shows and DJ parties, maintaining a connection with their audience even in the toughest times. As part of their reopening strategy, the collective has raised over $425,000 through crowdfunding and other means to hit $500,000 to fund necessary renovations to the space, including constructing a stage and dressing rooms for performers, reported SFist. Mahogany shared in an interview with KQED, "So that leaves about $75,000 left that we have to raise."

Alongside its nightlife offerings, The Stud, in partnership with CounterPulse, plans to introduce a drag school to cultivate the next generation of drag artists. This innovative project will celebrate the bar's legacy and actively contribute to its continuance as a hotbed for LGBTQ+ arts and community development. As anticipation for the opening night skyrockets, tickets were snatched up within minutes of their release, but for those willing to brave the lines, some will be available at the door, SFist reports.