As a Castro bartender at establishments ranging from Badlands to Blackbird for nearly a decade, Yuri Kagan has seen and heard just about everything. On the eve of the publication of his book, Vodka & LimeLight, Queerty asked the drink maker-turned-author to distill 10 lessons from that experience.
Here are 10 things:
1. Often people move to San Francisco with the assumption it’s this huge gay mecca. They then proceed to act like a kid in a candy store. That is a candy store that serves dick. The truth of the matter is that San Francisco is smaller than Kristen Chenoweth. It’s a small town that looks like a big city. Everyone sort of knows each other and bad reputations spread like Chlamydia.
2. When ordering a drink, don’t ever ask to “make it strong,” or my personal favorite asking for “Strong Island.” It’s basically telling the bartender that you don’t tip and actually want less alcohol. Why not just skip the Long Island and ask the bartender to put their fist down your throat? The results are the same.
3. Dear fag hags. We love you! Without you, I would have never paid for college. I also would have never made it to prom. Please stop asking what it would take for me to fuck you. It won’t happen. You’re powers don’t work on me. Now lets go back to talking about that one episode of Sex and the City.
4. Straight women that come out to gay bars because you “just want to dance” and think you’re safe from creeper men? News flash, there are a handful of straight men who are on to you. They are hanging out on gay bar dance floors all over the country waiting to creep you out and maybe get a boob grab.
5. San Francisco’s gay bars are often more segregated than gay bars of other cities I have been to. The gay bars in San Francisco are predominantly male-oriented. The poor lesbian of the city have to often settle looking for parties that cater to them and finding women at animal shelters. Lets stop this non-sense and open some more lesbian bars!
6. Gay men do not know the meaning of the words “too small” unless it comes to a penis then size queens can give a bigger definition. In San Francisco you can see a large man wearing a shirt so small it’s sheer magic that it stays together in the first place.
7. There is nothing wrong with going into a bar by yourself to have a cocktail alone with your thoughts and maybe chase a little tail. Please don’t explain to the bartender why you are out alone cause we don’t care. Have a drink and relax.
8. If you are looking for some party favors while out and looking to rail something, Do not ask the bartender where you can find it. Stand near the bathroom of any bar. Here lie the answers to your queries. As a bartender I am not a drug dealer. We are somewhere between therapist and hired friends to be specific.
9. If you say you don’t care for Kylie or Mariah, keep it to damned self. That stuff starts wars in these parts. Seriously.
10. Friday and Saturday nights are mostly time for newbies and often inexperienced. If you want to see what the Castro is really like, go out in the middle of the week. You will meet more down to earth people.