The Oldest Gay Bar in San Francisco, The Gangway, Has Officially Closed
San Francisco's oldest gay bar, The Gangway, has officially closed its doors. The location, which opened originally in 1910 and started serving gay clientele in the 1960's, shut down over the weekend to a ton of very frustrated customers who received the information via text message.
The Gangway, like other long running bars such as Aunt Charlie's Lounge, served as a reminder of the Tenderloin area's long gay history. But it served a much bigger purpose than that, according to The Bay Area Reporter:
The Gangway was also a community center and fundraiser beginning in the ‘70s. Bars often cooperated in events. Totie’s and the Gangway put on an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration together in 1971. In the early ‘70s, the bar hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s parties, complete with food.
Ring exchanges between partners were celebrated in the days before same sex marriage was legal. In 1977 Roland hosted a fundraiser, donating cash and turkeys to seniors for Thanksgiving which Harvey Milk acknowledged with a plaque presented in the bar.
The proprietor of the new establishment wants to turn The Gangway into, get this, a place called Young’s Kung Fu Action Theatre & Laundry LLC, where they will screen movies for patrons to watch while their clothes dry. Regardless, the business calls for a liquor license, so not to sure if this guy is serious or not.
What are your thoughts on this historic bar closing?