Fresh from a remodel and ready to welcome in crowds again, Oasis is preparing to host its grand reopening party on June 26, the Saturday of Pride weekend.
Drag queen club owner and writer/thespian of kitsch creations like Shit & Champagne, D'Arcy Drollinger, has announced the return of Oasis following a difficult year, and a seven-month complete closure. The club had been open for outdoor dining during the late summer and fall months, with limited seating and drag shows on its roof deck. But the winter months turned dark, and Drollinger told SFist in February that things had reached a "critical time," with an understanding landlord no longer able to forego rent payments and the debt piling up.
Still, Drollinger has been nothing if not ingenuitive through the crisis, first garnering national coverage (on CNN and elsewhere) for Oasis's drag queen dinner delivery service, and then deciding to throw an old-fashioned telethon to raise money to stay open. She said at the time that it was "heartening to see so many fabulous entertainers stepping up to fight (and perform) to keep Oasis alive," and lo and behold the day-long, live-streamed event pulled in over $270,000 — money that's helped fund some remodeling of the roof deck and the front bar, in addition to getting the place out of a financial hole.
Now, the time has come to shift back from virtual events — though during the pandemic Drollinger also launched the OasisTV streaming service offering up the venue's library of staged performances as well as new shows — to real, in-person ones. And things will kick off with Princess, a drag show/dance party that takes the place of the former weekly Saturday party Mother, starting June 26.
Drollinger tells Fa-Word this week that there will be a Sunday daytime roof party for Pride, just like in pre-pandemic days — with former Oasis co-owner Heklina back in town to be guest bartender that day! And regulars are going to notice some changes, including a more open floor plan on the roof deck, and a new stage with real lighting in the front bar area.
"It’s sort of unbelievable that the city is about to reopen and we are able to open up again,” Drollinger says. "I can’t wait to unveil the upgraded space, start all the parties and shows, and be the queer clubhouse San Francisco really needs right now."
In the coming months, fans of Oasis can expect the return of a slate of cabaret shows, including performances by Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny, Varla Jean Merman, Coco Peru, Dina Martina, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and more — and the club will be bringing back "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Live" and "Harry Poofter."
New Friday parties to look forward to include MaDonna Summer — the LA-based tribute party to the music of Madonna and Donna Summer — and a new all-Black drag spectacular called Reparations.
In the meantime, the finishing touches are being put on the club — and these include both that Sylvester mural that went up two weeks ago, and a new interior mural by artist Diego Gomez.
Six years on from its opening, Oasis still feels like a godsend and a rare gift in the world of LGBTQ nightlife, with bars and clubs in gayborhoods around the country closed or struggling, and new ones debuting less and less often. And after last year's devastating closure of The Stud — whose owners still vow to reopen in a new location — Oasis is the only dedicated drag venue left in SoMa, and the only queer cabaret/nightclub of its kind in the city.
A batch of presale tickets for the reopening party sold out in minutes last week, but Drollinger says that more will be going on sale after capacity limits get clarified by the city this week or next. Follow Oasis on Facebook or Twitter for updates.
Photo courtesy of D'Arcy Drollinger