PHOTOS: There was a time when men — and some women — wore suits while drinking 35-cent whiskeys in bars with names such as Connie’s “Why Not?”, Cissy’s Saloon and The Purple Pickle. That time was San Francisco some 50, 60 years ago — before Ellen, before Elton, before Stonewall.
Mike Stabile from the Pop-Up Queer Museum set about mapping out these bars after pouring over the withered pages of defunct gay rags like Vector, After Dark and David, resulting in the Lost Gay Bars of San Francisco.
While we certainly don’t yearn for the impromptu police raids and a life lived in the shadows, there’s something to be said about the gay old times depicted in these ads and photos from that “lost” era.
And there’s also something to be said for this drink menu:
Those kids must have known how to party back then because a dollar and some change could probably get you wrecked.
Check out more photos from the San Fran’s queer history and to find out more about the who, what, where and werq of the city’s forgotten gay bar scene, visit the Lost Gay Bars of San Francisco project.