The Stud is a queer bar in San Francisco with a long and storied history. It was founded in 1966, the same year as the historic Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in the Tenderloin, three years before the Stonewall uprising in New York. It survived the AIDS crisis, the dot com boom, and bust and boom again — all the while building a reputation as a quirky, welcoming place for all visitors.
In July 2016, the Stud's landlord nearly tripled its rent, and it seemed like its days were numbered. Then a new kind of entity stepped in to save the bar: An 18-member collective formed to buy the business, renegotiate the lease and keep the spirit of the Stud going, in a city where more and more queer bars are closing. The collective has now been running the bar for a little over a year. We talked to a few of the worker-owners about what saving the Stud means to them.
Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.