San Francisco Nightlife – A Sampling of The City's Gay bars
San FranciscoGay Bars and Clubs, a Sampling
4086 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114; Tel. 415.431.8616
The Mix offers a sense of warm familiarity as the Castro’s “neighborhood bar.” In addition to a selection of beers, cocktails, pool tables and friendly bartenders, patrons will also enjoy the Mix’s jukebox and open-air back patio. It’s a great spot for bonding over a pitcher with old friends or branching out and making new ones.
1270 Valencia St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.285.1200
The Edge is a divey corner neighborhood stop in the Castro with friendly bartenders and a happy hour that starts at noon and lasts until 7pm. Affordable drinks aren’t the only incentive to head to the Edge—its tagline promises “Strong Drinks, Low Lights, Men.”
2124 Market St., San Francisco CA 94114; Tel. 415.503.0630
The Blackbird offers visitors a classy night out with local wines, artisanal beers, craft cocktails and an unpretentious attitude. Sip on drinks such as the Farmer’s Daughter or Old Boy while enjoying feature artists.
Twin Peaks Tavern
401 Castro Street (at Market), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.864.9470
Older men, younger men. Guess who’s buying? A Moroccan-pillowed triangular space with plate glass windows and a bar stocked with casual elegance and casual encounters. Located conveniently on Market and Castro, at the foot of the San Francisco gay bar scene.
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2367 Market St (at Castro), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.861.3846
No cover. Strong drinks. Super-gay top 40 dance mixes that bring scraggly-haired lesbians and boys who buy their youth at the tanning salon. It doesn’t get much more Castro than this.
440 Castro St (at 18th St.), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.621.8732
Yes, that leather-clad San Francisco silver fox with an obscenely prominent package is, as you might have suspected, tugging at his chaps for you.
Sixth St. & Harrison, San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.357.0827
There ain’t no party / like a West Coast party / ’cause a West Coast party / don’t stop. For over 25 years, the Endup has kept the San Francisco nightlife torch alive with its all day all night weekend dance-a-thons. The Sunday afternoon gay dance is legendary.
1351 Polk (at Pine), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.885.4535
Tourists looking for more family-friendly San Francisco drag shows should stick to Beach Blanket Babylon. Kimo’s ladies are hard-core, hard-livin’ and workin’ hard for their money. Still, expect a fair share of Celine, Cher and Stevie Nicks.
The Lexington Club
3464 19th St., San Francisco CA 94110; Tel. 415.863.2052
While the menfolk have their run of nearly 30 San Francisco gay bars, lesbians are often limited to also-ran club nights. Luckily, San Francisco has the Lexington Club — the only lesbian bar in San Francisco to boast and attract a wombyn-on-wombyn clientele 7 nights a week. It’s got a pool table, some pretty ladies and a rough hewn style that befits the rag-tag city that begat it.
4 Valencia St. (at Market), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.241.0205
Don’t let this San Francisco gay bar’s funereal front, with its large and lilied flower arrangement, get you down. Have a double martini (that’s the only size they come in here) and settle into the back room where a piano man and his singing muse will gather the crowd for a bittersweet rendition of “The Man Who Got Away.” Ain’t it the truth, ain’t it the truth.
Mint Karaoke Lounge
1942 Market (at Duboce), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.626.4726
Don’t mess with the Mint. While Friday nights are generally packed with post-work parties and birthdays, most nights the performances can bring down the house. Think American Idol, but sponsored by the vodka industry.
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