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Remembering The Stud: San Francisco's Oldest Gay Bar

Three years ago, artists, drag queens, and members of the queer and trans community gathered together for a funeral.

They didn’t gather to mourn the death of a person, but the closure of San Francisco’s oldest LGBT bar, The Stud. After surviving for more than 50 years, an AIDS epidemic, a few transfers of ownership, and then becoming a worker-owned co-op, it was the forced closure from the pandemic that took its final toll on the club.

Now this Bay Area institution is back. Last week The Stud officially announced that they will reopen in a new location on Folsom street, just a few blocks away from their former space. The new space will feature a newly built stage, an updated sound system and a collection of historic queer memorabilia. In honor of the Stud’s return, we want to bring you back to what it was like and what made it so special in this story back in 2017 from reporter Meredith Hoddinott.

"The Stud's history speaks directly to our present in a lot of ways, as queers who just want to be together. And not just be ok and safe together, but be creative and expressive and explosive together"

This story originally aired as part of our Audiograph series in January of 2017 and it aired most recently in the September 11, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

Audiograph is a project that maps the Bay Area using sound, telling the story of where you live and the people who live there with you.

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