Get the inside scoop from a longtime local to San Francisco’s Soma neighborhood scene.
Soma IS Daddy’s neighborhood
The Castro is cute and all, but men and Daddies thrive in SOMA (SOuth of MArket). Wider roads, more industrial, and strewn with haunts for MEN. Here are my picks for this side of town.
298 11th Street. A cabaret theater in the early evenings and a fabulous nightclub latenights, Oasis features all kinds of fun. Decor is steampunk in the front bar, muppet show in the cabaret room, with a rooftop patio allowing for nicotine infused fresh air. Plan ahead and check the schedule to see what’s planned to enjoy some of this San Francisco treat.
Heklina’s saturday night staple is the outrageous drag show “Mother” (f.k.a. Trannyshack) where the campy theatrical (and sometimes down right raunchy) drag reigns supreme. The antics usually begin around 11pm (drag time, my dear) but come a little early to enjoy a cocktail. Inside scoop: arrive at least 30 minutes early and squat a good spot near the stage. There are sometimes sitting perches along the walls).
399 9th Street. Here is a fantastic piece of San Francisco herstory, with decor to prove it. The Stud is a San Francisco institution since the 1970s. Recently it barely survived the owner’s sell but was rescued by a bandied bunch of local artists who now own it as the first worker owned co-op nightclub in the country. This adorable little place has served as a longtime ad hoc community center with a varied schedule of shows and nights from trashy drag to furry dance parties and more. The Stud tends to attract all sorts – but generally audience with an alternative, artsy edge. Recommended.
1347 Folsom Street. The Powerhouse is a mans’ man’s bar. Dark, edgy, and grungy, the Powerhouse is a reliable place to drink, chill, and cruise. Many evening events with sexy beats storm the atmosphere.
The Eagle Tavern
398 12th Street. The biker bar staple. With indoor and outdoor areas, this is definitely a home for Daddy. Bring your leather, your collared masses. Or jeans and a t-shirt. With regular evening special events, this place is best known for the heaving sunday afternoon beer bust from 3-6pm. On Pride sunday, stay for local legendary disco DJ Bus Station John’s “Disco Daddy” tea party from 7pm till 2am.
The Hole In the Wall Saloon
1369 Folsom Street. This place is definitely worth a stop at the very least for its ceiling decor. This is a relaxed bar – dark, cruisy, quiet, and friendly with a pool table.
The Lone Star
1354 Harrison Street. The Lone Star tags itself as ‘Bear Bar USA’ but this twink-has-been has always felt welcome here. They host special events with an indoor area and great outdoor area.