A couple of question about gay bars in general and in San Francisco.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
    So although I don't go out to bars or clubs that much lately I have some friends coming to town to visit and we thought we would go out in San Francisco. One of the guys joining us is a friend of a friend who is also coming into town. This guy has been in recovery for a while and although he can be comfortable in bars and clubs our mutual friend does not want to go places that might cause too much temptation for the other guy. In a sense we are looking for a gay hangout that does not feel too much like a bar or a club.

    Does such a place exist?

    The concern does not seem to be the alcohol since my friend thinks that if we go to a nice restaurant or if I serve wine at my place the other guy will be ok.

    My friend wants to go some place like a nice high end straight bar not a club with music and dancing but a place where we can get a table and hang out for an evenining, one that caters to gay clients and is quiet and well lit enough for us to just sit around and have a conversation.

    Any suggestions?

    I am way out of the loop on bars in San Francisco and I suggested that since its San Francisco we could just go to a nice high end straight bar
    and no one would care that a bunch of gay guys were there.

    I talked this over with a friend of mine who is a lesbian and it kicked off another conversation. Her complaint was that throughout the country there were really no, what she called "nice", lesbian bars. The best bars she had been to were bars or clubs that had lesbian nights a few times a month. The few bars that were full time lesbian bars were, in her opinion, mostly dives.

    This got me thinking that over time I have been in a variety of straight bars and gay bars and the range seemed more varied on the straight side from dive bars back in college to really nice well appointed bars. On the other hand the range of gay bars that I have visited is narrower with fewer things on the "nice" side.

    I like all sorts of places and each type can have its own fun, I just wish there were more choices.

    What do you guys think, do we not just have a smaller number of bars because gays are in the minority, do we also have less variety?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2010 8:04 AM GMT
    I would like to help. So it sounds like you're looking for a low key gay bar? I would go to blackbird which is on market. It is pretty low key compared to the other gay bars. You can Marlena's in Hayes Valley which is a neighborhood tranny bar (there really aren't too many trannys there) that is really low key.

    I didn't completely understand your questions so if this doesn't answer them then please clarify.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2010 8:21 AM GMT
    I guess he's asking about a quiet place which caters and attracts gay people such that they can have conversations and mingle. So, kinda like a club w/o the music. If there's no music, there's not really any dancing... So on and so forth.
  • Kev67

    Posts: 60

    Oct 18, 2010 3:51 PM GMT
    Try Cafe Flore on Market & Noe. It's a coffee house that also serves drinks, very conducive to hanging out and conversation. At night they'll often have a DJ so it starts to get more of a clubby vibe.

    There's a place called Lime that sounds close to what you're describing. It's on Market between 15th & 16th. Very loungy with sofas and banquettes. I'm not sure if they have dancing though.

    The same guy that owns Lime also owns a club called Trigger, which goes out of its way to appear upscale and sleek. I've only been once, just this last weekend with friends who wanted to go there, and it has a lot of what you're describing including banquettes to hang out in, and dancing. Though, at least on Saturday night, it was loud so conversation options are limited. It's on Market between 16th and Castro.

    Kidfaith is right, having dancing requires music, which then makes it harder for conversation. Lots of people will make two stops, perhaps going to Cafe Flore first to hang out and talk, then moving on to another club for dancing.

    You're right you can also go to straight bars and in most of SF they won't care. I like the Elbo Room in the Mission, it has some fun cocktails as well as decent non-alcoholic choices. If you're venturing into the straights, though, I'd avoid North Beach, the Marina, and Cow Hollow as in my experience they'll tolerate a group of gays but won't be as welcoming as places in other parts of town.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    If you want a spectacular view of the city, I would recommend The View on the 39th floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel near the Moscone Center. It's an amazing restaurant and the view is to die for!! The Art-Deco, arched windows go clear to the floor. You can stand next to the window and look straight down to the street below.
    You can call for prices and reservations at 415-896-1600. They say dress is casual...but I think at least a jacket and "casual evening wear" would be more appropriate.


    AND, as far as your sober friend is concerned...let HIM decide what his comfort level is. And try not to make a big deal of it. It depends entirely on HIS program... and how long he's been sober.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Oct 18, 2010 5:54 PM GMT
    Martuni's on Market

    It's a piano bar so it's not entirely gay bar vibey.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2010 10:21 PM GMT
    gwuinsf saidMartuni's on Market

    It's a piano bar so it's not entirely gay bar vibey.
    Yep, this is a good choice (was just there Friday night, music and a great mix of people. Blackbird it another, very nice mix, comfortable for conversation, not sure about music.