Sad news today that the rumored impending closure of Deco Lounge, on Larkin in the Tenderloin, has come to pass. Mission Mission reports that some new owners are taking over, and they're the folks who own beloved hipster dive Benders in the Mission, so you know what that means: It won't be a gay bar anymore.
Deco had a lot of dusty, dirty charm, and as SFist's Brock Keeling says today, "I was there last month for a wonderful drag show. Tragic, but amazing." They had occasional DJ parties, amateur strip nights, regular drag nights, stiff, cheap drinks, and a sketchy downstairs area where people smoked and where naughty things sometimes happened when they had a crowd in the house. It felt at once like a dive bar, and like your Uncle Bert's carpeted basement with a wet bar in the corner and a collection of Connie Francis records by the turntable. It will be missed.
There's no word on what the new owners' plans are, exactly, or what the new name will be.
We should note that, across the city, this is the fifth gay bar to close in the last two years, following on the loss of the Transfer (now Churchill) and Trigger in the Castro, the recent closure of Rebel, and last year's closure of the Eagle in SoMa, though that is now on its way back after a hotly contested situation in which it was about to be taken over and remade as a heterosexual establishment. We know the kids out there these days, and perhaps many readers, don't understand why we need to have gay bars anymore, now that we can get married in several states and everyone loves everyone and parties together. But, honestly, the need for some safe, segregated space where boys can be boys (and girls can be girls, though lesbian-only hangouts are, sadly, very few) in neighborhoods outside the Castro can not be overstated. Even though everyone just hooks up online these days.