It looks as though the Stud Collective has landed on a potential new space for the legendary bar and nightclub that tragically closed at the start of the pandemic. And it's just a few blocks away, on Folsom Street.
When The Stud decided to call it quits in May 2020, it was obviously a wise financial decision on the part of the collective that had taken over operating the club several years earlier. With no end in sight to pandemic shutdowns, and the property slated for demolition and redevelopment at some point in the not-too-distant future, continuing to pay rent would have been silly.
The Stud Collective, a group of 17 people, said in statements at the time that the Stud was not dead, and would be resurrected in new digs at some point — though that had been the line for several years. After the property owners made their development plans known and hiked the rent 150% in 2016, things looked grim even then, but the group ultimately signed a two-year lease, and the club was running on borrowed time after 2018 with a vague promise that new locations were being scouted.
Former District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney pledged at the time that he would "do everything in my power... to make sure that The Stud returns. We will help The Stud find a forever home."
But now, a long three years and three months after that grand, virtual drag funeral for the club, a liquor license application has gone in for The Stud at 1123 Folsom — a.k.a. the former Trademark and Copyright spaces, which have recently played host to some pop-up "experiences." (Going back over a decade, this was the former Julie's Supper Club, which shuttered in 2009.) The SF Business Times was the first to spot the application.
Rachel Ryan, a Stud Collective member, is the only name listed as an officer for the building. Other collective members including former City Hall aide Nate Albee and SF County Democratic Committee Chair Honey Mahogany declined to comment on the development, with Mahogany saying, "We're still working on things [and] we don't have any details we can share."
It could be that lease details are still being negotiated, and the liquor application has gone in as a precursor, given how long such transfers can take.
The collective had said three years ago that they were seeking to raise $500,000 for their Stud Bar Stabilization Fund — that GoFundMe campaign has only raised $23,000 to date. And no doubt a new fundraising effort will get underway soon, if this project is indeed moving forward.
"By closing the doors on our location [at 9th and Harrison] — a place that holds memories for almost the entire city, and which survived both the AIDS and app years, as well as two tech booms and two economic busts, all with wigs a-flyin’—we’re able to survive another day, in a new Stud incarnation," wrote collective member Terra Haywood back in 2020.
The space at 1123 Folsom (between 7th and 8th streets) is actually two spaces that also come with a spacious back patio. One former tenant in the last decade, Radius, used one of the street-facing spaces as a daytime cafe, while the space that sits at the corner of Langton Alley served as the nighttime restaurant. Trademark made more use of the front room's bar, and converted a back area into an arcade game room.
Trademark had played host to the Golden Girls Kitchen pop-up in recent months — the bar fully closed in April in order to transform into the Golden Girls' Miami home — and its side room had previously been host to a few other themed pop-ups. And it looks like Trademark itself is now just permanently closed, though the owners never confirmed that on their social media.
The Stud itself had not always lived at 9th and Harrison. The legendary queer bar with an inclusive vibe had originally existed where Holy Cow/Eve Nightclub sits at 1535 Folsom, starting back in 1966, and it moved to its last digs in 1987. (Original owners George Matson and Alexis Muir said it was "a bar for people, not just pretty bodies.") Thus, the collective figures, it's only appropriate that The Stud energy should continue on elsewhere, to welcome in old fans and newcomers who won't even know what the former place was like.
Obviously, there's no timeline for a reopening yet, and we'll update you if we learn more.