Legendary SoMa nightclub The Stud is indeed reopening a few blocks from where it lived until 2020, and the drag shows are set to begin again maybe by early next year.
SFist had the news a month ago that The Stud Collective — the 17-person group that bought the business several years before it closed in 2020 — had found a new location at 1123-1125 Folsom Street. The space, most recently a sports bar called Trademark, has changed hands a couple of times in the last decade, but was once known as Julie's Supper Club — which occasionally played host to LGBTQ-friendly parties like Rehab. Part of the two-building complex has also recently been used to host rotating pop-ups, like the "Golden Girls Kitchen."
Now, with a lease in hand, the team has gone public with the news. Decor from inside the former Stud will be relocated to the new space soon, but first it will be hosting one last overpriced pop-up "experience," called Jack N Juice Immersive Bar, which is some kind of mashup of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice.
Stud Collective member Nate Allbee (who continues to work as communications director for Assemblymember Matt Haney) tells SFist that the team is aiming to be open by the "end of winter."
Strangely, in nightlife-heavy SoMa, one obstacle to reopening was getting this area — part of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District — rezoned to allow a new nightlife venue to open. As the team tells the Chronicle, there was a war-on-fun ordinance passed a number of years ago that first needed to be gotten around — which was done with the help of gay supervisors Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman, and Joel Engardio.
"Even though we have legally recognized the Leather District as a cultural district and as an important cultural asset of the city, a few years before we did that, they passed a law that rezoned that entire neighborhood to make it extremely difficult to add new nightlife uses," Allbee tells the Chronicle.
To prepare for reopening, the collective has launched a new crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $500,000.
As was widely noted at the time of the May 2020 closure of The Stud, the club has survived and thrived following a move before. The original Stud, which opened in 1966, was at 1535 Folsom Street — later known as Holy Cow and most recently Eve. The nightclub relocated at the height of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, in 1987, to the corner of Ninth and Harrison streets, and it was there that the late Heklina launched her legendary Trannyshack drag show in 1996 — later known as T-Shack and Mother.
In more recent years, the club had played host to another show, called SomeThing, hosted by VivvyAnne Forevermore, and dance parties like Go Bang.
"Right now we are seeing San Francisco in a precarious state where a lot of businesses are closing. We’re more determined now than ever to be a part of San Francisco’s success and rebuilding," said collective member Honey Mahogany in a statement to the Chronicle. "It’s an opportunity to create a scene and also continue this incredibly rich and long history of queer resistance, joy and celebration in San Francisco."