SAN FRANCISCO: City’s Oldest Gay Bar Closes After 58 Years, Will Become Kung Fu-Themed Laundromat

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The sun has quietly set on the Gangway, San Francisco’s oldest continuously operating gay bar. Bookending an ownership saga that started two years ago, the transfer of the bar’s liquor license became final on Friday, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. On Sunday, the historic establishment hosted its final night of revelry.

Sam Young, the owner of the sometimes controversial bar Kozy Kar only a few blocks away, will take over the space at 841 Larkin St., according to the filing. The cumbersome name for his new venture is Kung Fu Action Theater & Laundry, which Young last year said would be a place where people can do laundry and watch kung fu movies. It won’t be a bar, he said, despite the location’s liquor license.

There’s a lengthy bar history at 841 Larkin St. The address has been home to a drinking establishment of some kind since 1910, 51 years before the Gangway began publicly identifying as a gay bar. With its shuttering, the Gangway joins a long roster of now-closed gay bars in the city, a trend some attribute to changing San Francisco demographics, gentrification and, even more simply put, acceptance of LGBT people in the wider community.

The decision to sell the Gangway began back in 2016 after its owner was socked with fines for underpaying his bartenders.