SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Nearly four years after the closure of the Stud in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, the collective of owners aims to reopen the legendary bar in a new location next year.
The Stud Collective, comprised of fifteen former workers and supporters, has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising half a million dollars to reopen the bar at 1117-1123 Folsom Street in the city's LGBTQ and Leather Cultural District.
For nearly six decades, the Stud, a renowned LGBTQ bar, has welcomed patrons from all walks of life. Now, there is a comprehensive vision and substantial support for its revival just a few blocks from its original Ninth Street venue, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic.
Historically, the Stud had been a hub for culture and community, offering drag performances, karaoke nights, and even hosting political events.
Stephen Best and his partner have fond memories of attending events at the original Ninth Street location. Best recalls, "I went to a furry’s party at the Stud, accidentally! I wasn’t wearing a furry!’’
The Stud Collective's objective is to crowdsource half a million dollars by the end of November, in hopes of opening a new venue by early next year. The funds will be allocated towards renovating the space, which has previously hosted pop-up theme lounges, including Julie's Supper Club and the more recent Golden Girls Kitchen pop-up restaurant.
The two adjacent buildings at 7th and Folsom streets will provide a larger venue, capable of accommodating a larger audience and featuring a stage visible from various points within the lounge.
Residents in the Castro District expressed enthusiasm upon learning of the plan to reopen this historic and legendary event space and nightclub.
Kelly Gilliam, a longtime resident, remarked, "The Stud was such a great environment! Everyone, women, even my straight friends enjoyed going there, it was such a great atmosphere!"
Given the closure of numerous establishments since the pandemic, Gilliam views the Stud's potential reopening as a positive sign of recovery for the city and its community.
She added, "I love it! A lot of people want to go out again and that’s where people can celebrate life and do something fun!"
Recollecting her experiences at the Stud, Gilliam emphasized, "They welcome everyone!"
An official announcement about the intended reopening and the crowdfunding campaign is slated for Tuesday, September 5th, at the new venue at 10 a.m.
The event will feature special guests, including Mayor London Breed and other city leaders, along with advocates for the LGBTQ community.
Alice Wertz is a freelance reporter for KTVU. She can be reached at Alice.Wertz@Fox.com Threads/Insta: @WayIseesIt X: @AlicesTake