If anyone has any additional trivia or history they'd tlike to add about gay bars in the Castro, please post a comment
- The first gay bar in the Castro was the Missouri Mule, which opened in 1963 at 2348 Market Street -- the site of the present-day Trigger. It has undergone six name changes since then: Hombre (1973-1979), Chops (1980-1981), Patsy's (1981-1982), The Detour (1983-2005), Jet (2007-2008), and finally Trigger (2009 to the present).
- The present-day Trigger appears to have been the site of the most gay bars, followed by Lucky 13 (which was the site of six different gay bars before becoming a relatively straight bar) and QBar, which is the sixth gay bar at its location.
- The gay bar in the Castro operating the longest under the same name is The Mint, which opened in 1968. If you exclude it for not being gay enough, or not Castro enough, the runner-up is Twin Peaks, which opened in 1973.
- Twin Peaks was the first gay bar in the United States to have plate glass windows. At the time, other bars painted over or boarded up their windows to give patrons anonymity and privacy when they were inside. (The Elephant Walk, located at what is now Harvey's, was another early adopter of plate glass windows, but Twin Peaks was the very first.)
- The original Toad Hall, which existed from 1971 to 1979, was located at 482 Castro Street, which is now part of the upstairs area of Walgreens. It became DJ's and then the Phoenix prior to becoming part of Walgreens. During the filming of the movie Milk, the bar 440 Castro was made over to look like the original Toad Hall for filming purposes. Other than the name, there is no connection between the original Toad Hall and the new one at 4146 18th Street.
- The original Toad Hall was the first dance bar in the Castro, one of the first bars in the country to use taped music instead of a jukebox, and the first in the Castro to hire a DJ. It caught on fire four times in its eight year existance -- the third a few days before reopening after being repaired from the second fire, and the fourth at the reopening celebration.
- The original Midnight Sun was located at 506 Castro Street, which is now the location of the Body Shop. It operated there from 1971 until 1981 (except for a brief name change to be known as the City Dump in 1973). It moved to 4067 18th Street in 1981.
- In addition to Walgreens and the Body Shop, some of the other present-day non-bar businesses that were once the locations of gay bars include Fuzio Restaurant (469 Castro Street), Home Restaurant (2100 Market Street), 2223 Restaurant (2223 Market), Books Inc. (2275 Market), Cathay Express Restaurant (720 14th Street), and Daimaru Sushi (290 Sanchez).
- Under previous owners, the bar now known as the LookOut was known as the Metro City Bar for 25 years. But before that, it operated as a gay bar under three different names -- including being known as the Outlook from 1980 to 1981.
- The Cafe was originally known as the Cafe San Marcos from 1976 until the mid-1990s. In the 80s, it was a lesbian bar with carpeting, couches, and a fireplace where the dance floor is now located. And if you think it's haunted, it may be the spirit of a former owner who died in his office there.
- The bar now known as 440 Castro seems to have found its niche market early: it was Bear Hallow from 1979 to 1985, The Bear from 1985 until 1995, and then Daddy's until around 2006.
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