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Looking back as the Stud celebrates its first year as a co-op

Garaje Gooch


The Stud is a queer bar in San Francisco with a long and storied history. It was founded in 1966, the same year as the historic Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in the Tenderloin, three years before the Stonewall uprising in New York. It survived the AIDS crisis, the dot com boom, and bust and boom again — all the while building a reputation as a quirky, welcoming place for all visitors.

In July 2016, the Stud's landlord nearly tripled its rent, and it seemed like its days were numbered. Then a new kind of entity stepped in to save the bar: An 18-member collective formed to buy the business, renegotiate the lease and keep the spirit of the Stud going, in a city where more and more queer bars are closing. The collective has now been running the bar for a little over a year. We talked to a few of the worker-owners about what saving the Stud means to them.  


"Watching other queer spaces close, watching Esta Noche close, watching The Lex close . . . they were eye-opening experiences. And these started the conversations that we had "

Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.   


Crosscurrents San Francisco
Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.