Press Release: Supervisor Wiener Calls for Hearing on Preserving LGBT Nightlife Spaces and Status of Stalled LGBT Cultural District
With possible loss of the Stud, and other LGBT venues in SOMA at risk, Supervisor Wiener calls for renewed, strong response to ensuring these safe cultural spaces continue to exist and also calls for long-stalled SOMA LGBT Cultural District to move forward
San Francisco, CA — Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener announced that he will hold a public hearing on how best to protect and preserve our LGBT nightlife spaces. The community recently learned that, due to a rent increase and possible site development, the Stud (at 9th and Harrison) — an iconic and beloved LGBT nightlife venue — is at risk of closure. A community effort has come together to save the Stud. Other SOMA LGBT nightlife venues are also at risk.
In addition, Supervisor Wiener will seek to push forward the long-stalled SOMA LGBT Cultural District. Despite being required as part of the Western SOMA plan in 2013, that cultural district has been delayed for years. At the hearing, the Entertainment Commission, the Planning Department, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development will be asked to report.
Supervisor Wiener, a gay man who has frequented many of our city’s LGBT nightlife venues for years, has long worked to preserve our LGBT nightlife. Supervisor Wiener authored legislation to landmark the Twin Peaks Tavern in the Castro — the first gay bar with open windows. Wiener worked closely with Heklina and her business partners to open Oasis, at 11th and Folsom and helped the owners of the revived Eagle get their business going.
Supervisor Wiener recently authored a piece on why LGBT nightlife spaces matter, as we were recently reminded with the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando: LGBT Nightclubs Are Sacred Spaces: Why the Stud Matters.
“LGBT nightlife venues are at the heart of the LGBT community in many ways,” said Supervisor Wiener. “For so many of us, these spaces are where we found community, met close friends and lovers, and found the safety and security so essential to human growth. We need to protect these spaces for ourselves and future generations.”
Supervisor Wiener has done significant work to promote and protect San Francisco nightlife in general, including obtaining a groundbreaking economic impact study for the nightlife sector, authoring multiple pieces of legislation to help nightlife venues have live music, and working to improve late night transportation.
The hearing will focus on what policy tools can help protect these LGBT nightlife venues throughout the City, but particularly in areas like the Castro, the Tenderloin, and SOMA. Unfortunately, current laws are often in conflict with nightlife, particularly in Western SOMA. In 2013, the Board of Supervisors — over Supervisor Wiener’s opposition (on a 10–1 vote) — passed the Western SOMA Plan, a rezoning of Western SOMA, where the bulk of the SOMA LGBT nightclubs are located. The Western SOMA Plan was designed to reduce the number of nightlife venues in Western SOMA and to push nightlife venues south of Harrison Street. The bulk of SOMA LGBT nightlife venues are north of Harrison Street. The Western SOMA Plan is a threat to LGBT nightlife.
The hearing will take place at the Land Use and Transportation Committee.