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Food & Drink

Burglars take cash, alcohol from beloved San Francisco LGBTQ+ bar

The Lone Star Saloon has been a bastion of SoMa’s leather and LGBTQ+ communities for decades. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

Thieves broke into the Lone Star Saloon, a longtime LGBTQ+ bar in San Francisco’s historically leather-centric South of Market neighborhood, on Sunday night, the bar announced on Facebook.

Burglars stole a large quantity of alcohol and emptied the cash registers in the middle of the night, but no one was injured, according to the Facebook post.

Photos of the aftermath show a ransacked office and rows of missing liquor bottles. It was not immediately clear how much was taken, but the break-in—apparently the first in the dive bar’s 34-year history—did not appear to be a hate-fueled attack.

Reached for comment, co-owner Bruce Jennison confirmed to The Standard that two men had picked the lock of the front door, with one entering the bar.

“We have video,” Jennison said. “He tore the camera off the office wall and rummaged through everything we had. He was able to get into some money, and tried to break into our safe with a tool—but because it’s from the Victorian era, it’s rock solid.”

He and his business partner had called 911 and 311 several times Monday, but did not receive help from the San Francisco Police Department. It may have been a coordinated effort, as several other businesses in the area had also been hit, according to Jennison.

The Lone Star, a local institution known for raucous parties and laidback Sunday afternoon beer busts, was open again by Monday afternoon.

The neighborhood’s troubles have been widely documented, but September is typically a busy month for SoMa’s queer bars as the city gears up to host the 40th annual Folsom Street Fair on Sept. 24. Billed as the world’s largest gathering of kinksters, leatherfolk, fetishists and BDSM practitioners, it involves numerous smaller events in the days leading up to it, filling SoMa with tens of thousands of partiers from the world over.

This story has been updated with comment from the Lone Star.