The Most Fabulous Bar in the Neighborhood
By Jonathan Hirsch

Sandwiched between Bánh Mì shops and SROs, a short walk from Civic Center, and right in the heart of the Tenderloin lies San Francisco’s friendliest gay bar. Some folks might find it cheesy, but the bar’s slogan is, adorably, the Cheers-y “Where friends become family.” In this regard, you could think of it as much a gay bar as it is a Tenderloin bar: unassuming and neighborhood-y. The rainbow flag jutting from the remodeled deco-era exterior is a symbol of its place as an important piece of San Francisco history.

Ginger Snap, bar manager and performer, says that the current owners of Deco Lounge have been on board for seven years. “We’ve changed things a little bit over the years,” she says. “Originally, Deco was a piano bar. But now we do more drag and dance nights.” Deco still feels a bit like a piano bar, with three floors and a burgundy interior, but it stands out in the lower Polk Street area as a holdover from a time before the partial annexation of the area by the Marina crowd. Ginger is quick to point out that Deco is not just a gay bar. “Deco is different than the Castro-type bar, because we’re more of a neighborhood bar, where everyone is welcome. We promote but also get a lot of the local neighborhood folks, which makes for a fun mix of people.”



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This article was published:
Art & Design Issue - Released July 2012
Issue 11 / Version 2 | Buy print copy here
Issue 11
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