A photo of two dudes mid-smooch at the bar at Hi Tops (2247 Market Street), shot just as the 49ers clinched the NFC championship, has landed in the pages of Sports Illustrated. The national recognition for the bar comes just a week before the Super Bowl, and at a time when gay sports fans remain oddities in the minds of most of the nation's sports fans. Not to mention gay athletes.

Hi Tops, S.F.'s first (arguably) dedicated sports bar for the LGBT set, took over the former Lime space and opened at the beginning of December. They lucked out in having such a great season for the 49ers coincide with their opening, since they missed out on World Series madness.

A photographer and writer from the magazine showed up to cover the scene during the game on January 20, and photog Deanne Fitzmaurice snapped the photo seen above, on page 48 of the Super Bowl preview issue. As writer Chris Ballard puts it:

We’ll crowd the railing at Hi Tops, the city’s first official gay sports bar, where patrons sport supertight T-shirts, drink Big Unit cocktails and roar ‘Kill him! Kill him!’ whenever Aldon Smith gets near the opposing QB …

If the Niners win it all … some of us — a number of whom might be gay, or vegan, or gay and vegan — might even ride on top of a cable car.

Yay! Equality in football obsessiveness!

Below, NBC Bay Area's coverage of the SI article.

[NBC Bay Area]

Previously: Hi Tops, San Francisco's Very First Gay Sports Bar, Opening This Fall